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** I hold every man a debtor to his profes- 
sion; from the which as men of course do 
seek to receive countenance and profit, so 
ought they of duty endeavor themselves by 
way of amends to be a help and ornament 


Francis Bacon. 

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Sebastian Erard 

After Original Oil Paintiog by David 
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IN describing the origin and development of the pianoforte, 
notice has been taken only of such efforts and inventions as 
lent themselves to evolution, or have stood the test of time. 
Therefore no mention is made of mere freak instruments, ancient 
or modem, nor of the many fruitless efforts of inventors whose 
aim seemed to be merely to produce ** something different," either 
for commercial reasons or to satisfy the cravings of their own 
imagined genius. 

Great pains have been taken, however, to give full credit to those 
who successfully developed ideas which in their original crudeness 
seemed impracticable. It often happens, as in the case of the 
** overstrung system," that an idea is born, tried, discarded, lies 
dormant for generations, before the genius appears who can 
render it adaptable for practical use. 

It is to be regretted that we are still without guiding laws for 
the construction of the pianoforte, but the thinking piano maker 
of the present has the great advantage of past experiments from 
which to learn what not to do in his efforts to improve the piano. 

The curiosity hunter, and student who desires more detailed 
information regarding past experiments in piano construction, 
will find entertaining and instructive reading in the various publi- 
cations on the pianoforte enumerated elsewhere. 

Great confusion exists among the various writers on the piano- 
forte regarding the names of the older keyed instruments. 
Clavicytherium, Clavichord, Spinet, Virginal, and Harpsichord 
are often confounded with one another, and some writers use 
** Clavier " for all these instruments. 


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In order to secure accuracy, I followed the development chrono- 
logically, as the most trustworthy authorities record it, aiming 
always to give a clear description in as few words as possible, 
because this work is written for those who desire to know, and 
who do not care merely to be entertained. 

Being limited in scope to past events, the author regrets espe- 
cially that no particular mention could be made of the valuable 
labors of Henry Ziegler, Frank J. Conover, Richard W. Gertz, 
Paul G, Mehlin and others, who are earnestly engaged in improv- 
ing the heritage left us by the masters of the past. 

In submitting this volume to the reader, the author desires to 
express his thanks to Messrs. Theodore C. Steinway, William E. 
Wheelock, Melville Clark, J. H. White, George B. Kelly, Ludwig 
Bosendorfer, Josef Herrburger, Jr., Siegfried Hansing, Paul 
de Wit and Morris Steinert, for their kind and valuable assistance, 
without which the work would lack much important data. 

CoviNA, California, 
April, 1911. 

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Technical Development of the Pianoforte 



The Monochobd, Pythagoras, Guido of Arezzo, the Chinese 

Ke 27 

The Clavicythebium, Italy and Germany .... 29 

The Clavichord, Daniel Faber, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven . 29 

The Spinet, Giovanni Spinnetti 32 

The Harpsichord and its development 34 


The Pianoforte, Christofori, Marius, Schroter, Silbermann, 
Backers, Stein, German, Austrian and English Schools, 
Friederici 41 

The Square Piano, Zumpe, Broadwood, Erard, Behrend, Al- 
brecht, Crehore, Osborn, Babcock, Chickering, Steinway, 
Mathushek 48 

The Upright Piano, Schmidt, Hawkins, Loud, Southwell, 

Wornum, Pleyel 53 

The Grand Piano, Geronimo, Still, Stodart, Broadwood, 
Erard, Stein, Nannette Stein-Streicher, Loud, Jardine, 
Chickering, Steinway, Bosendorfer, Kaps ... 57 


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The Full Ibon Frame, Hawkins, Allen and Thorn, Babcock, 

Chickering, Erard, Broadwood, Hoxa, Steinway . . 69 

The Keyboard, Guido of Arezzo, Zarlina, Kirkman, Krause, 
Chromatic Keyboard, Neuhaus, Cludsam, Paul von 
Janko, Perzina .77 

The Action, Schroter, Christofori, Silbermann, Stein, 
Streicher, Zumpe, Backers, Erard, Friederici, Womum, 
Pleyel, Pape 83 

The Hammer, Christofori, Silbermann, Pape, Wilke, Kreter, 

Mathushek, Collins, Dolge, Ammon, Steinway ... 97 

The Soundboard, Chladni, Tyndall, Helmholtz, Hansing, Dr. 

Paul, Pape, Mathushek 106 


The Supply Industries, Lumber (old and new methods of 

seasoning). Felt, Wire, Actions 115 

Felt Making, Pape, Whitehead, Naish, Billon, Fortin, 

Weickert, Dolge .120 

Piano Wire, Fuchs, Webster & Horsfall, Miller, Poelilmann, 

Washburn & Moen, Houghton, Smith, World's Fair Tests 123 

Actions, Brooks, Isermann, Gehrling, Herrburger-Schwan- 
der, Morgenstern & Kotrade, Lexow, Langer & Com- 
pany, Fritz & Meyer, Keller, Seaverns .... 126 


Development of the Player Piano, Morse, Vaucanson, 
Seytre, Bain, Pape, Fourneaux, McTammany, Gaily, 
Bishop & Downe, Kuster, Paine, Parker, White, Brown, 
Votey, Goolmann, Hobart, Clark, Kelly, Klugh, 
Welin, Hupfeld, Welte, Young, Crooks, Dickinson, 
Danquard 131 

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Commercial Development of the Piano Industry/ 


Italy, Cliristofori, Fischer, Sievers, Roseler, Mola . . . 166 

Gebmany, Silbennann, Stein, Nannette Stein, Streicher, 
Schiedmayer, Ibach, Ritmiiller, Eosenkrantz, Irmler, 
Bliithner .' 167 

France, Erard, Pleyel, Herz, Gaveau, Bord .... 171 

England, Tshudi, Broadwood, Kirkman, Zumpe, CoUard, 

Brinsmead, Hopkinson 172 

America, Chickering, MacKay, Nunns & Clark, Gilbert, Stein- 
way 174 


The Commercial Piano, Joseph P. Hale 179 

The Stencil, Department Stores, Consolidations , . . 182 


The Art Piano, Trasunti, Hans Ruckers, Shudi, Broadwood, 
Alma Tadema, Steinway, Marquandt, Sir Edivard Poyn- 
ter, Centennial Grand at the White House, Denning, 
Bosendorfer, Empress Elizabeth, Ibach 's Jubilee Grand, 
Baldwin, Barnhorn, Guest, Bliithner, Erard, Pleyel, Lyon 
& Co., Chickering Louis XIV, Everett Sheraton Grand, 
Samuel Hayward, Knabe '^ Nouveau Art " Grand, 
Weber Louis XIV Grand 187 

The Pedal Piano, Schone, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Pleyel, 

Erard, Pfeiflfer, Henry F. Miller 191 

The Player Piano .194 


Export, Steinway, Aeolian 199 

Methods of Marketing, The Agency System . . . 200 

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The Trust Movements of 1892, 1897 and 1899. Plan, Scope, 

Cause of Failure 205 


Men Who Have Made Piano History 


Italy, Guido of Arezzo, Spinnetti, Geronimo, Christofori, 

Fischer, Sievers, Roseler, Mola 215 

Germany, Silbermann, Stein, Nannette Stein, Streicher, 
Bosendorfer, Seuffert, Ehrbar, Schweighofer, Heitz- 
mann, Ibach, Ritmiiller, Rosenkrantz, Irmler, Schied- 
mayer, Kaim & Giinther, Dorner, Lipp, Wagner, Pf eiflfer, 
Rohlfing, Knake, Adam, Heyl, Vogel, Lindner, Meyer, 
Mand, Gebauhr, Thiirmer, Steinweg, Grotrian, Zeitter & 
Winkelmann, Buschmann, Rachals, Scheel, Bliithner, 
Ronisch, Feurich, Isermann, Weickert, Poehlmann . . 217 

England, Shudi, Broadwood, Collard, Challen, Hopkinson, 
Brinsmead, Eavestaff, Squire, Grover, Barnett, Poehl- 
mann, Strohmenger, Witton, Brooks .... 242 


France, Erard, Pleyel, Kalkbrenner, Wolff, Lyon, Herz, 
Pape, Kriegelstein, Gaveau, Bord, Schwander, Herr- 
burger » . . . . 251 

Spain, Estela, Guarra, Chassaign, Montana .... 262 

Belgium, Berden, Van Hyfte, Vits, Boone Fils, Gevaert, 

Giinther, Oor 263 

Netherlands, Allgauer, Cuijpers, Rijken and de Lange . . 263 

Scandinavia, Hornung & MoUer, Ekstrem, Malmsjoe, Hals . 263 

Russia, Diederichs, Schroder, Becker 264 

Japan, Torakusu Yamaba, Nishikawa & Son .... 265 

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America, Crehore, Osborn, Babcock, MacKay, Stewart, Chick- 
ering, Bacon & Raven, James A. Gray, William Bourne, 
McPhail, Lindeman, Schomacker, Knabe, Steinway, 
Hazelton, Fischer, Stieff, Weber, Steck, Kimball, Cable, 
Wulsin, Starr, Healy, Wurlitzer, Estey, White, Packard, 
Votey, Clark 269 


Influence of Piano Virtuosos Upon the Industry 


Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rubinstein, Billow, Joseffy, 
Hofmann, Rosenthal, Carreno, de Pachmann, Busoni, 
Paderewski 385 

Testimonials and Their Value 397 



National Associations of Manufacturers and Dealers in 

Europe and America 405 

The Trade Press — Its Value to the Industry .... 415 

Literature on the Pianoforte 423 

Conclusions 433 


List of Firms Manufacturing Pianos and Supplies at the 

Present Time 443 

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Weber Pianola Grand Frontispiece 

Sebastian Erard Insert 7 


Backers' Hammer Action, 1776 46 

Brinsmead Upright Action 94 

Broadwood Upright Action 94 

Christofori'sHammer Action, 1707 44 

Christofori's Hammer Action, 1720 44 

English Sticker Upright Action, 1820 ..... 92 

Erard Grand Action, 1821 88 

Erard-Herz Grand Action, 1850 89 

Erard 's Repetition Grand Action, 1821 60 

Friederici's Upright Action, 1745 92 

Herrbnrger-Schwander Grand Action, Paris ... 91 

Herrburger-Schwander Upright Action 95 

Keller's Grand Action, Stuttgart, 1909 90 

Langer Grand Action, Berlin, 1909 ...... 90 

Langer Upright Action 95 

Lond's Downward Striking Action for Square or Grand 

Pianos, 1827 84 

Marius' Downward Striking Hammer Action ... 41 

Marius' Upward Striking Hammer Action .... 42 

Modern American Upright Action 94 

Schroter Downward Striking Hammer Action, 1717 . . 43 

Schroter Upward Striking Action, 1717 43 

Seaverns Upright Action 96 

Siegfried Hansing's Grand Action, 1898 .... 91 

Silbermann's Hammer Action, 1728 44 

Stein-Streicher's (Nannette) Grand Action, 1780 . . 59 

Stein's (Johann Andreas) Action, 1780 86 

Stein's Hammer Action 47 

Steinway Grand Action, 1884 89 


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Actions. Continued page 

Steinway's Tubular Metallic Action Frame, 1866 . . 85 

Streicher's (Johann Baptist) Action, 1824 .... 87 

Wessell, Nickel & Gross' Grand Action, 1890 ... 90 

Wessell, Nickel & Gross' Upright Action .... 96 

Wornum's Upright Action, 1826 54, 93 

Zumpe's Hammer Action, 1760-65 46 

Baldwin Grand Case with Acoustic Rim 64 

Capo Tasto 61 

Clavichord, 16th Century 30 

Clavichord, 17th Century 31 

Clavicytherium, 14th Century 29 

De Wit Tuning the Clavichord, Paul . . . Insert 427-428 

Dulcimer 43 


Chickering Hall, New York Insert 391 

Gewandhaus (Old), Leipsic Insert 386 

Gewandhaus Saal (Old), Leipsic .... Insert 387 

Gewandhaus (New), Leipsic. Insert 388 

Gewandhaus Saal (New), Leipsic .... Insert 389 

Saal Bliithner, Berlin Insert 400 

Saal Bosendorfer, Vienna Insert 401 

Salle Erard, Paris Insert 398 

Salle Pleyel, Paris Insert 399 

Steinway Hall, New York Insert 390 


Ammon Hammer 104 

Ammon-Dolge Hammer 105 

Christofori Hammer 97 

Hammers Covered with Leather 97 

Hammers Covered with Leather and Felt .... 98 

Machine-covered Felt Hammer, 1871 99 

Molding for Ammon-Dolge Hammer* 105 

Single Coat Felt Hammer for Grand Pianos ... 102 

Single Coat Felt Hammer for Upright Pianos ... 102 

Steinway Saturated Hammer 105 

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Hammebs. Continued paqk 
Dolge-Gardener Compressed Air Hammer-Covering Ma- 
chine, 1910 103 

Dolge Hammer-Covering Machine, 1887 . 100, 101 

Harp, Lyon & Healy Insert 352 

Harpsichord, 1521 35 

Harpsichord, 1531, Alessandro Trasnnti's Art . Insert 190 

Harpsichord with Double Keyboard, End of 16th Century . 36 

Harpsichord, Middle of 17th Century 37 

Ibon Fbames 
Allen and Thorn's Grand Bracing System, 1820 , 

Babcock's Full Iron Frame, 1825 

Baldwin Upright Iron Frame, 1910 

Broadwood & Sons' Barless Grand Steel Frame, 1910 
Broadwood & Sons' Barless Upright Steel Frame, 1910 
Chickering's Full Iron Frame, 1837 
Chickering Grand Iron Frame, 1843 
Conover Bros.' Upright Iron Frame, 1885 
Erard's First Iron Bar Grand Piano, 1823 
Grotrian's Grand Iron Frame, 1910 
Mason & Hamlin Grand Iron Frame, 1910 
Steinway's Full Iron Frame, with Overstrung Scale, 1855 
Steinway's Grand Iron Frame, 1859 .... 
Steinway & Sons' Grand Iron Frame, 1875 — Front View 
Steinway & Sons' Grand Iron Frame, 1875 — Back View 


Ke, Chinese, 2650 B. C 28 


Cludsam's Concave Keyboard, 1910 78 

Janko-Perzina Keyboard, 1910 79 

Perzina's Action for Practice Clavier for Janko Keyboard 82 

Perzina's Key for Janko Keyboard, 1910 .... 81 

Perzina's Practice Clavier for Janko Keyboard ... 82 

Perzina's Reversible Key-bottom for two Keyboards . 81 

Monochord, 582 B. C 27 

National Association of Piano Dealers of America, Presi- 
dents of, from 1902 to 1911 Insert 411 

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National Association of Piano Manufacturers of America, 

Presidents of, from 1897 to 1911 .... Insert 410 


Baldwin Art Grand Insert 190 

Chickering & Sons' Louis XIV. Art Grand . • Insert 190 

Christof ori 's Piano e forte, 1711 45 

Erard Art Grand Insert 190 

Everett Piano Company Sheraton Art Grand . Insert 190 

John Broadwood & Sons' Art Grand . . . Insert 190 

Julius Bltithner Art Grand Insert 190 

Ludwig Bosendorfer Art Grand .... Insert 190 

Pleyel, Lyon & Company Renaissance Art Grand . Insert 190 

Rudolf Ibach Sohn Jubilee Art Grand . . . Insert 190 
Steinway & Sons' Art Grand, made for Frederick Mar- 

quandt Insert 190 

Steinway & Sons' One-hundred-thousandth Piano, at the 

White House . . . ' Insert 190 

Weber Louis XIV. Art Grand Insert 190 

William Knabe & Co '* Nouveau Art " Grand . Insert 190 

Albrecht's Square Piano, 1789 50 

Friederici's Square Piano, 1758 49 

Zumpe's Square Piano, 1760-65 47 

Hawkins' Upright Piano, 1800 53 

Pleyel, Lyon & Company Gothic Upright . . Insert 190 

Southwell's Upright Piano, 1807 54 

Piano, Mathushek's Table 323 

Pfeiflfer's (Carl J.) Action for Pedal Upright Pianos . . 192 

Pfeiffer's (Carl J.) Attachment for Pedal Grand Piano . 192 

Pfeiffer's (Carl J.) Mechanism for Organ Pedal Practice . 193 

Pfeiffer's (Carl J.) Upright Piano for Pedal Practice . 193 

Piano Players and Player Pianos 

Bishop & Downe's Keyboard Attachment, 1883 . 
Brown's (Theodore P.) Interior Player, 1897 . 
Clark's (Melville) Stroke Button in front of Fulcrum 
Clark's (Melville) Transposing Device, 1899 
Clark's (Melville) Transposing Device, 1902 . 
Crook's (J. W.) Themodist, 1900 


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. 153 

. 154 

158, 159 

. 162 


Piano Players and Player Pianos. Continued page 

Danquard's (Thomas) Flexible Finger Mechanism, 1904 . 155 

Foumeaux's Pianista , 134, 135 

Gaily 's (Merritt) Player Mechanism, 1881 
Goolman's (F. R.) Harmonist Player, 1898 
Hobart's (A. J.) Endless Tune Sheet, 1908 
Hupf eld's (Ludwig) Phonola Player, 1902 
Keeley-Danquard Temponome, 1911 

Kelly's (George B.) Wind Motor with Slide Valves, 1886 . 139 

Klugh's (Paul B.) Auxiliary Key, 1906 .... 153 

Kuster's (Charles A.) Mechanical Instrument, 1886 . . 140 

McTammany's (John) Automatic Playing Organ . . 137 
Parker's (William D.) Automatic Piano, 1892 . . 141, 142 

Votey's (Edwin S.) Cabinet Player Pianola .... 149 

Welin's (Peter) Individual Valve System .... 157 
White & Parker's Automatic Piano Player in Cabinet 

Form, 1897 145, 146, 147, 148 

White and Parker's Combination Upright Piano and Reed 

Organ, 1895 143, 144 

Young's (F. L.) Metrostyle, 1901 161 


Andre, Carl 408 

Bach, Johann Sebastian 385 

Bauer, Julius 362 

Bechstein, Carl 236 

Becker, Jacob 264 

Behning, Henry 319 

Beethoven, Ludwig von . . 387 

Bietepage, A 265 

Blondel, Alphonse 254 

Bliithner, Julius 235 

Bond, S. B 373 

Bosendorfer, Ludwig 220 

Briggs, Charles C 293 

Brinsmead, John 247 

Brinsmead, Thomas James 248 

Broadwood, John 243 

Biilow, Hans von 391 

Burns, Francis Putnam 287 

Bush, William H 356 

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Cable, H. D 343 

CampbeU, John C 335 

Carreno, Teresa 398 

Chase, Braton S 358 

Chickering, C. Frank 274 

Chickering, (Jeorge H 275 

Chickering, Jonas 271 

Chickering, Thomas E 273 

Chopin, Frederic 388 

Church, John 338 

Clark, Melville 377 

Conover, J. Frank 344 

Conway, Edwin S 341 

Decker, Myron A 317 

De Pachmann .397 

Ehrbar, Friedrich 221 

Engelhardt, Frederick 379 

Erard, Sebastian 253 

Estey, Jacob 363 

Estey, Julius 366 

Fischer, Charles S 289 

Friederici, C. E 48 

Fuller, Levi K 365 

Gabler, Ernest 314 

Gennett, Henry 349 

Gross, Jacob 291 

Haines, Napoleon J 296 

Hale, Joseph P 180 

Hansing, Siegfried 426 

Hazelton, Henry 288 

Healy, P. J. 350 

Heintzmann, Theodore A 313 

Herrburger, Josef 261 

Herz, Henry 258 

Hofmann, Josef 400 

Ibach, Carl Rudolf 223 

Ibach, Johannes Adolf 222 

Ibach, Rudolf 224 

Irmler, J. G 225 

Irmler, Oswald 226 

Isermann, J. C. L 238 

Jacob, Charles . 321 

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Jacob, C. Albert 322 

JankOy Paul von 80 

JoseflFy, Rafael 392 

Kelly, George B 332 

Kimball, William Wallace 340 

Knabe, Ernest 283 

Knabe, William 282 

Krakauer, Simon 327 

Krell, Sr., Albert 357 

Kriegelstein, Charles , . . 259 

Kurtzmann, Christian 292 

Lee, Frank A 339 

Lindeman, Henry 280 

Lindeman, William 279 

Liszt, Franz 389 

Lufkin, W 342 

Lyon, Gustave 406 

Mason, J. R 372 

Mathushek, Frederick 324 

McTammany, John 13& 

Miller, Henry F 337 

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 38& 

Paderewski, I. J 399 

Patzschke, C. W 240- 

Perkins, Edward R 330* 

Pfriemer, Charles 382 

Pleyel, Camille 256 

Pleyel, Ignace 255 

Poehlmann, Moritz 242 

Post, Charles N 352 

Powers, Patrick H 294 

Rachals, Edward Ferdinand •; . 234 

Rachals, Mathias Ferdinand 233 

Ronisch, Carl 237 

Rosenthal, Moriz 393 

Rubinstein, Anton 390 

Schiedmayer, Sr., Adolf 229 

Schiedmayer, Adolf 407 

Schiedmayer, Hermann 230 

Schiedmayer, Johann David 227 

Schiedmayer, Johann Lorenz 228 

Schiedmayer, Julius 231 

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Schiedmayer, Paul 232 

Schmidt, John Frederick 381 

Schomacker, John Henry 281 

Schroder, Carl Nioolai 263 

Schroder, Johann Friedrich 262 

Schroter, Christoph 42 

Schulz, Mathias 359 

Schulz, Otto 360 

Schwander, Jean 260 

Seavems, George W 127 

Shoninger, Bemhard 316 

Sohmer, Hugo 320 

Smith, Freeborn G 315 

Starr, Benjamin 348 

Steck, George 318 

Steger, John V. 361 

Steinway, Albert 311 

Steinway, Charles 306 

Steinway, C. F. Theodore 303 

Steinway, Henry 307 

Steinway, Henry, Sr 300 

Steinway, William 308 

Sterling, Charles A 371 

Stieff, Frederick P 290 

Story, Edward H 376 

Story, Hampton L 375 

Tremaine, Harry B 329 

Tremaine, William B 328 

Vose, James Whiting 295 

Votey, Edwin S 331 

Watson, Henry C 416 

Weber, Albert 297 

Weickert, August Moritz 239 

Weickert, Otto 241 

Wessell, Otto 380 

Wheelock, William E 326 

White, Edward H 369 

White, Henry Kirk 367 

White, Howard 370 

White, James H 368 

Whitney, Calvin 374 

Wolff, Auguste 257 

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Wulsin, Lucien 345 

Wurlitzer, Rudolph 354 

Yamaha, Torakusu 266 

Eesonator, Richard W. Gertz's 110 

Resonator, Detail of Richard W. Gertz's Ill 

Spinet Jack 32 

Spinet, Rossi's, 1550 .33 

Spinet, 1560, Hans Ruckers' Double .... Insert 190 

Spinet of Spinnetti, 1503 32 

Steinert at the Clavichord, Morris . . . Insert 427-428 
Virginal, 16th Century 34 

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Technical Development of the Pianoforte 


The Monochobd, Pythagoras, Guido of Arezzo, the Chinese ** Ke/* 

The Clavicythebium, Italy and Germany. 

The Clavichoed, Daniel Faber, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. 

The Spinet, Giovanni Spinnetti. 

The Habpsichosd and its development. 

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Technical Development of the Pianoforte 


The Prototype of the Pianofortjb 
The Monochord 

THIS instrument was used by Pythagoras (582 B.C.) for 
experiments regarding the mathematical relations of 
musical sounds. A single string, presumably catgut, was 
strung over a wooden box. Directly underneath the string a strip 
of paper was glued to the top of the box, on which the sections 
and subdivisions corresponding with the intervals of the scale 
were marked. Pressing the string down upon a given mark, and 
then plucking it, a tone was produced, high or low, according to 
the place of the scale where the string was held down with the 

Monochord, 682 B.C. 

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The monochord came into universal use among the Greeks, and 
also in the Roman churches as an instrument to sound the keynote 
for chorus singing. To assure a quicker and especially more cor- 
rect intonation, Guido of Arezzo (about 100 A. D.) invented the 
movable bridge under the string of the monochord.* 

Chinese Ke, 2650 B.C. 

After the invention of the movable bridge for the monochord 
further improvements came rapidly. The clavis (keys), which 
came in use on church organs shortly after the year 1000 A. D., 
were applied to the monochord, which then was built with more 
than one string. Each clavis, or key, had a tangent, or pricker. 
As soon as the clavis was pressed down, this tangent would prick 
the string on the proper division of the scale and thus assure the 
sounding of the correct tone required for the guidance of the 

The use of the clavis soon led to an increase in the number 
of strings and during the 12th and 13th centuries many experiments 

* The Chinese as early as 2650 B.C. used an instrument called " ke," far superior to 
the monochord. The ke had fifty strings strung over a wooden box approximately ^ve 
feet long. Each string was spim of eighty-one fine silk threads, and of such length 
that an experienced player could, by proper manipulation, produce the upper and lower 
fifth of each tone on the string which he pricked or plucked. 

Later on the ke was improved by the use of movable bridges, one for each string; 
the number of strings was reduced to twenty-five, and the bridges were arranged in 
groups of five, each group distinguished by a different color; — group 1, blue; 2, red; 3, 
yellow; 4, white; 5, black. This indicates that the Chinese understood the relation 
of colors to tone. It can readily be seen that an expert performer could produce a great 
variety and combination of tones by aid of the movable bridges. Indeed the Chinese 
considered the ke the acme of musical instruments, and the virtuosos and masters of 
the ke spoke of it and its use as enthusiastically and admiringly as Bach and Beethoven 
spoke of the clavichord nearly 4,000 years later. 

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were made to construct an instrument which would give all the 
notes of the scale correctly. 

These experiments led finally to the invention of the ** clavicy- 

The Clavicytherium 

This is an instrument in which the strings were arranged in 
the form of a triangle (harp form). The strings were of 
catgut, and sounded by the pricking of a quill plectra, fastened 
to the end of the clavis. Fetis believes that the clavicytherium 
was invented in Italy about 1300 and afterwards copied and im- 
proved by the Germans. The efforts to improve the instrument 
finally developed the ** clavichord." 

The Clavichord 

The first clavichords, built during the 15th century, had only 
20 or 22 strings of brass, which were made to vibrate, not by pluck- 
ing or pricking, but by being agitated through the pressure of a 
tangent (a brass pin flattened on top) fastened to the clavis. The 
form of the clavichord was similar to the later square piano. 

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Toward the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, 
it was improved so much that it became the favorite keyed instru- 
ment of the period. It maintained its supremacy during the 18th 
century, long after the appearance of the pianoforte. The accom- 
panying picture shows a clavichord with 50 keys (there are some 

in existence with 77 keys) and a 
soundboard with 5 bridges, simi- 
lar to the Chinese ke. The sound- 
board covers only half of the in- 
strument, the part where the keys 
are located being open of neces- 

The clavichord usually has 
more keys than strings, since 
the tangent, in striking, gives 
tone and pitch at the same time. 
Most clavichords have two keys 
to each string, some three, while 
on the earlier clavichords we find 
two tangents fastened to one key, 
and the performer had to manipu- 
late the key so as to make each 
tangent strike at the proper 
place. This was rather difficult 
and made the execution of any 
but the simplest compositions 
almost impossible. Still, it 
was not until 1725 that a clavichord was constructed by 
Daniel Faber of Germany, which had a separate string and 
key for each note. To prevent vibration and consequent irri- 
tating sounding of the shorter part of the string when agitated 
by the tangent, a narrow strip of cloth ^^^ interlaced with the 

Clavichord, 16th Century 

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Thus the clavichord possessed four of the most vital points 
of the modem pianoforte: The independent soundboard, metal 
strings, the percussion method of agitating the string, the tangent 
touching or striking the string, instead of plucking or pricking, 
and lastly the application of the damper. The greatest improve- 
ment was the new method of tone production by which the clavi- 
chord became the first keyed instrument enabling the performer 
to express his individuality. 

While the tone of the clavichord was very weak, it was capable 
of reflecting the most delicate gradation of touch of the player and 
permitted the execution of most exquisite crescendo and decre- 
scendo. The klangfarbe (tone color) of the clavichord was of a 
very sympathetic, almost spiritual character. Virtuosos like 
Johann Sebastian Bach and Emanuel Bach produced charming and 
captivating effects by a trembling pressure of the finger upon the 
key, holding the notes, thus emphasizing the intention of the player 

Clavichord, 17th Century 

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Spinet Jack 

in interpreting a composition. In short, 
the clavichord was the first keyed instru- 
ment with a soul. It is not surprising that 
such masters as Bach, Mozart and even 
Beethoven preferred the clavichord to 
the more powerful harpsichord and the 
early pianoforte. Indeed, Mozart, while 
traveling about Europe as a piano vir- 
tuoso, carried a clavichord with him, 
for daily practice. Mozart composed 
his '* Magic Flute '^ and other master- 
pieces on that instrument. 

However, the small, weak, though 
sweet and musical tone of the clavi- 
chord did not satisfy many of the music 
lovers. They desired an instrument which 
would speak louder. 

The Spinet 

About 1503 Giovanni Spinnetti, of Venice, constructed an in- 
strument of oblong form, 
with a compass of four oc- 
taves. This oblong form en- 
abled Spinnetti to use very 
long strings and a larger 
soundboard, covering nearly 
the entire space, thus mate- 
rially increasing the tone 
volume. These long strings, 
however, could not be agi- 
tated effectually by a strik- 
inc: tan&rent: it was neces- 

Spinet of Spinnetti, 1503 ^ ».« 5^ i, 

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sary to set the strings in motion by pricking or twanging. We, 
therefore, find on the clavis of the spinet, a ** jack " with cen- 
tered tongue on its upper end. Into this tongue a quill, fastened to 
a spring, is inserted, and when the key is pressed down, the point 
of the quill twangs the string through the upward movement of 
the jack. A small piece of cloth, fastened to the jack, dampens the 
string as soon as the jack comes down again to its natural posi- 
tion. This instrument was called a ** spinet," after the inventor. 

Although this twanging of the string produced a wiry, nasal 
tone, and the player could not play with any expression, as on the 
clavichord, the spinet became very popular, because of its greater, 
louder tone. Spinets were built in sizes from 31/0 to 5 feet 
wide. The smaller instruments could be easily carried about, and 
were usually played upon a table, which increased the resonance. 
Spinnetti had placed the keyboard outside of the case, but about 
1550 Rossi of Milan built spinets in which the keyboard was within 
the case. 

In England the spinet became generally known under the name 
of ** virginal," and many writers have fallen into the error of 
assuming that the virginal differs materially from the spinet. 

Rossi's Spinet, 1550 

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Careful comparisons of spinets and 
so called virginals, by competent 
judges, have established the fact 
that there is no vital difference 
to be found. 

Naturally, the various builders of 
spinets in Italy, Germany, Flanders, 
and especially England, experimented 
in many ways to improve the volume 
and quality of tone as well as the 
fnrm of the case. Rimbault repro- 
diu'es a pen-and-ink-sketch of a 
'* virginal, made harp fashion," ap- 
jjarently built at the end of the 
16th century, which might be 
considered the prototype of 
the upright piano of the pres- 
ent day. If this drawing is cor- 
rect, a rather complicated ac- 
tion must have been used to 
get the plectra in motion. 
From specimens of spinets or virginals now extant, the conclu- 
sion may be drawn that the European continental makers gave 
the triangular form the preference, while English makers used 
the square, oblong and upright forms. The quill or wing form (Ger- 
man fliigel) identical with the form of the present grand piano 
and later used entirely for the ** harpsichord," seems to have 
been first used by Geronimo of Bologna (1521). 

Virginal, 16th Century 

The Harpsichord 

The adoption of this form was dictated by the desire for a 
greater volume of tone. Indeed, the early harpsichord was in 

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all its features (except the wing form) only an enlarged spinet. 
The larger case, greater soundboard and greater number of 
much longer strings of the harpsichord opened a new field for 
inventive genius. While the tone produced on the longer string 
had a .greater volume and was louder than that of the spinet, it 
was at the same time harsher, raw, more nasal and almost offen- 
sive to the ear. When used with the orchestra this serious fault 
was not so noticeable, but for solo performances the harpsichord 
was very unsatisfactory. To overcome, or at least mollify this 
harshness, many experiments were made, even to desperate 
attempts to attach a mechanical orchestra to it, adding devices 
which were to imitate the lute and flute, operated by stops; also, 
by means of pedals, a complete Janissary music, including snare 
and bass drum, cymbals, triangle, bells and other noisy instru- 
ments. In accordance with the variety of these appendages the 
number of pedals increased, and harpsichords with as many as 
25 pedals are still to be found. 

Of all those manifold experiments only four have proved of 
permanent value. The ** forte stop," which lifted the dampers; 
the *' soft stop," which pressed the dampers on to the strings to 
stop the vibration; the *' buft' stop," interposing soft cloth or 
leather between the jacks and the strings, and lastly the ** shift- 

Harpsichord, 1521 

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ing stop," which shifted the entire keyboard, a movement later 
applied to the transposing keyboard. 

In the effort to produce greater volume of tone the makers con- 
tinued to increase the size of the harpsichord until it had reached 
the extreme length of 16 feet. Very thin wire had to be used for 
the strings, since the frail cases would not stand the increased 
tension of heavier wires, nor could the flimsy quill plectra make 
the heavy wires vibrate well. The longer the string of thin wire, 
the less musical was the tone produced by twanging, and the best 
makers returned to the length of 8 to 10 feet, seeking to improve 
tone quality and volume by increasing the number of strings from 
one to two, three and even four, for each note. 

Harpsichord with Double Keyboard, End of 16th Century 

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About the middle of the 17th century, harpsichords with two 
keyboards and three strings for each note were built. The third 
string, usually hitched to the soundboard bridge, was thinner and 
shorter than the two main strings and tuned an octave higher 
than the main strings. With the two keyboards the player could 
use the two or three strings of each note separately or together. 
Because of these improvements, especially the forte piano pedals, 
and the greater tone, musicians preferred the harpsichord to the 
spinet, and many compositions were written for it from Scarlatti's 
time (1670) to Beethoven's '' Moonlight Sonata " (1802). 

Toward the end of the 18th century, when the pianoforte began 
to take the place of the harpsichords, attempts were made to im- 
prove the tone quality of the harpsichord by using buff leather 
at the points of the jack, instead of quills, but evidently without 

Harpsichord, Middle of 17th Century 

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success. The fact that the harpsichord, like the spinet, gave the 
player no possible opportunity to exercise any artistry, as on 
the clavichord or the pianoforte, sealed the doom of the instru- 
ment, and with the end of the 18th century the end of the harpsi- 
chord had come, leaving for the pianoforte maker, however, the 
valuable inventions of the iving-formed case, the use of the two 
and three strings for one note, and lastly the forte piano pedal 
and shifting keyboard, all of which are embodied in the present-day 

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The Pianoforte, Christofori, Marius, Schroter, Silbennann, Back- 
ers, Stein, German, Austrian and English Schools, Friederici. 

The Square Piano, Zumpe, Broadwood, Erard, Behrend, Albrecht, 
Crehore, Osborn, Babcock, Chickering, Steinway, Mathushek. 

The Upright Piano, Schmidt, Hawkins, Loud, Southwell, Womum, 

The Grand Piano, Geronimo, Still, Stodart, Broadwood, Erard, 
Stein, Nannette Stein-Streicher, Loud, Jardine, Chickering, 
Steinway, Bosendorfer, Kaps. 

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The Pianoforte 

THE desire to combine the wonderful tone sustaining capacity 
of the clavichord with the power of the harpsichord, was 
shared by musicians as well as builders. No doubt many 
builders attempted to put a hammer action into the harpsichord. 
Marius of Paris submitted (1716) three models of harpsichord ham- 
mer actions to the Academy of Sciences, but apparently no instru- 
ments have been built containing his action, probably because a 
hammer action, to be effective, required a different construction of 
the entire instrument than that of the harpsichord. It seems much 
more reasonable to assume that the dulcimer (the German hack- 
brett), which was played upon with hammers held in the hands 
of the performer, similar to the xylophone, led to"the invention 
of the pianoforte. 

It is not surprising, that, at a period when all makers of harpsi- 
chords were struggling for tone improvement, three inventors, 

Marius' Downward Striking Hammer Action 

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independent of one an- 
other, should strike the 
same idea at about the 
same time — Christofori in 
1707, Marius in 1716 and 
Sehroter in 1717. Chris- 
toph Sehroter, a German 
organist, submitted his 
models of hammer actions, 
one with upward and one 
with downward movement, 
to the King of Saxony in 
1721, claiming that these 
models had been finished 
in 1717. Sehroter de- 
clared that the idea of a 
hammer action came to 
him after hearing the vir- 
tuoso, Hebenstreit, perform on his monster hackbrett (dulcimer) 
called ** Pantaleon." Simple and crude as Sehroter 's action is, it 
must be considered the fundamental of what later on became known 
as the German, more particularly, ** Vienna " action. The idea of 
having the hammer butt swing in a fork, as Sehroter 's model shows, 

Christoph Sehroter 

Marius' Upward Striking Hammer Action 

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Schriiter Upward Striking Hammer Action, 1717 

Scliroter Downward Striking Hammer Action, 1717 

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Silbermann*s Hammer Action, 1728 

Christofori's Ilammer Action, 1707 

Christofori's Hammer Action, 1720 

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has been utilized in all later improvements of the so-called German 
action. Schroter was disappointed in not getting aid from his 
King to build his instruments, and no pianofortes of his make are 
known. As early as 1724, however, pianofortes containing the 
Schroter action were made at Dresden. 

It is also of record that 
the great organ builder, 
Gottfried Silbermann, of 
Freiberg, Saxony, made 
pianofortes with Schroter 
actions as early as 1728. He 
simplified and improved the 
action somewhat, as illus- 
tration shows. However, 
the action was unreliable, the 
touch heavy and hard as 
compared to the clavichord, 
and the great Johann Se- 
bastian Bach condemned the 
first pianoforte which Silber- 
mann had built because it 
was too hard to play, al- 
though he praised the tone 
produced by the hammer. 

It seems that Silbermann came into possession of a Christofori 
pianoforte, because the pianofortes built by him for Frederick the 
Great, about 1747, have hammer action exactly like Christofori 's 
invention. In Silbermann 's workshop originated the two schools 
of piano construction known as the ** German school " and the 
** English school." There is no doubt that Silbermann used both 
the Schroter and the Christofori action for his pianofortes. 

The invention of the pianoforte as an entire and complete in- 
strument must be credited to Bartolomo Christofori (sometimes 

Christofori's Piano e forte, 1711 

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Zumpe's Hammer Action, 1760-65 

called Christofali) of Padua. A publication dated 1711 contains 
a drawing of Christof ori 's hammer action, which he had completed 
in 1707, and used in his first experimental instrument which he 
called ** piano e forte/' This instrument was exhibited in 1711. 
About 1720, Christofori finished his real pianoforte. He con- 
structed a much stronger case than had been used for harpsichords, 
to withstand the increased strain of the heavier strings. The action 
in this pianoforte shows important improvement over his model 

Backers' Hammer Action, 1776 

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Stein's Hammer Action 

of 1707. He added the escapement device, a back check, regulating 
the fall of the hammer, and connected an individual damper for 
each note direct with the hammer action, thus giving the performer 
a mechanism with which he could, through his touch, produce a 
delicate pianissimo and also a strong fortissimo, impossible on 
either clavichord or harpsichord. Christofori died in 1731. As 
far as we can learn he left no pupils, unless we so consider Silber- 

Silbermann's pupils, Johannes Zumpe and Americus Backers 
(Becker), went to London and introduced there a modified Chris- 
tofori action, which later on, further developed by various makers, 
became known as the ** English " action. Silbermann's most 

Zumpe Square Piano, 1760-65 

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talented pupil, Johann 
Andreas Stein of Augs- 
burg, however, took the 
Schroter design as a basis 
for his improvement, 
which is known as the 
'' Vienna " or '' Ger- 
man " action. 

The greatest activity 
in the development of the 
pianoforte took place in 
the periods from 1760 to 
1830, and from 1855 to 
1880. Modulations as well 
as radical departures in 
form were almost number- 
less, mainly inspired by a 
desire to produce an in- 
strument which would 
take up less room than the long, wing-shaped grand piano. As 
early as 1745, C. E. Friederici of Gera, Germany, a pupil of Silber- 
mann, constructed a vertical grand piano and about 1758 he built 
the first square piano in Germany. About 1760-65, Johannes Zumpe 
built, at London, the first English square piano. 

The Square Piano 

This evolved from reconstructed clavichords, retaining the clavi- 
chord form and general construction, but having a stronger frame, 
metal strings and the hammer action. Following Zumpe, we next 
learn of John Broadwood of London bringing out his square piano 
in 1771, and the records show that Sebastian Erard made such an 
instrument at Paris in 1776, copying the English model. Johann 

C. E. Friederici 

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Behrend of Philadelphia exhibited his square piano in 1775. Thus 
within 10 years after its first appearance, the square piano was 
made in Germany, England, America and France. But all the 
square pianos of those days were weak in tone and not to be com- 
pared to the grand (wing form) pianoforte. 

It seems that the use of the Christofori action in England (as 
modified by Backers), having the hammer rise at the end of the 
key (instead of toward the center of the key as in the Stein action), 
suggested the idea to Broadwood of placing the wrest plank 
along the back of the case, instead of along the right hand side, 
as it had always been in the clavichord. Broadwood completed 
his new piano with this improvement in 1781. This epoch-making 
invention revolutionized the construction of the square piano, and 
gave the opportunity of increasing the volume of tone to an unex- 
pected degree. As a matter of course, this invention was gradually 
adopted by all the leading makers. Even the German school, which 
had developed a square piano construction where the wrest plank 
was placed in the front part of the case, instead of sideways, finally 
accepted Broadwood 's construction, together with the English 

Not considering minor improvements, such as enlarging the 
scale, etc., no further development of the square piano is of record 
by European makers and we must look to America, where the 

Friederici's Square Piano, 1758 

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Alpheus Babcock*8 Full Iron Frame, 1825 

square piano reigned supreme for nearly one hundred years. After 
Behrend we find Charles Albreeht making excellent square pianos 
in Philadelphia about 1789 and Benjamin Crehore founding the 
Boston school about 1792 at Milton, near Boston, where John Os- 
born and Alpheus Babcock were his most talented pupils. Indeed, 
Alpheus Babcock 's invention of the full iron frame in 1825 was 
just as important an innovation and improvement as Broadwood's 

Charles Albreclit's bquarc Piano, 1789 

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^fli . ? . 

Jonas Chickering*8 Full Iron Frame, 1837 

change of the location of the wrest plank. The never-ceasing 
demand for larger tone could only be answered by heavier string- 
ing, which, however, was limited by the power of resistance of 
the wooden frame. Babcock's full iron frame blasted the way for 
further development, and Jonas Chickering improved Babcock's 
frame so materially in 1837 that a patent was granted to him in 

Most of the Boston makers, all of whom inclined toward the 
English school, adopted the full iron frame, but New York makers, 
being more influenced by the German school, objected to the metal- 
lic tone found especially in the upper notes of pianos with iron 
frames, caused perhaps fully as much by the inferior composition 
of the castings then available as by too close connection of the 
strings with the iron plate or frame. All American makers of 
that period devoted themselves more or less to the development of 
the square piano, so that it soon became superior to the upright 
piano as that was then constructed. 

At the World's Fair, in the Crystal Palace, New York, in 1855, 
Steinway & Sons created a sensation by exhibiting a square piano 
having the overstrung scale, and a full iron frame, designed on 
novel lines to conform with the varied and much increased strain 

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Steinway*8 Full Iron Frame and Overstrung Scale, 1855 

of the new scale. In this instrument the Steinways had not only- 
succeeded in producing a much greater, sonorous tone, than known 
heretofore, but had entirely overcome the harsh, metallic quality 
of tone, so objectionable in other pianos having the full iron frame. 
Although at first seriously objected to by many, the overstrung 
scale and full iron frame were soon adopted by all American 

With this innovation the piano industry of America had received 
a new impetus and it developed very rapidly from then on. Im- 
provements were continually added, among which the linear sound- 
board bridge, invented by Frederick Mathushek in 1865, may be 
considered as the most ingenious. 

After the Paris exposition of 1867, the leading American manu- 
facturers followed the example which the European makers had 
set 30 years before, and began to push the upright piano to the 
front. For the very reason that the American square piano had 
been developed to a real musical instrument with a remarkable 
volume, sonority and clearness of tone, equal in some instances 
to the ordinary grand piano of the European makers, the progress 
of the upright piano in America was very slow, and it was not until 
1880 that the making of the square piano came to an end. 

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Hawkins' Upright Piano, 1800 

The Upright Piano 

Not considering the vertical grands of Fabrici, Stein and others 
of this class, history records that apparently the first upright piano 
was built about 1780 by Johann Schmidt of Salzburg, Austria. 
Twenty years later John Isaac Hawkins of Philadelphia patented 
an upright piano with vertical strings, full iron frame and check 
action. Notwithstanding its many ingenious devices, this piano 
was not accepted on account of its unsatisfactory tone. As A. J. 
Hipkins so properly says, ** it was a remarkable bundle of inven- 
tions,'' but not a musical instrument. Hawkins was an engineer 
by profession. 

In 1802 Thomas Loud of London patented an upright piano 
described as having the strings running diagonally. It is ques- 
tionable whether Loud ever had any success in building such instru- 

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ments. None are now in existence. Loud 
emigrated to New York where he built so- 
called '* piccolo " uprights with ** over- 
strung " scale as early as 1830. 

In 1807 William Southwell of London 
came out with his '* Cabinet " (upright) 
piano, having a compass of 6 octaves, F to 
F. In 1811 Robert Wornum of London 
made his first upright with diagonally run- 
ning strings. 

The popularity of the upright in Europe 
dates from 1826, when Wornum had devel- 
oped an action for it which combined pre- 
cision with durability and permitted of 
repetition, responding easily to a light 
touch. Ignace Pleyel of Paris adopted this 
action for his upright pianos and it be- 
came known on the Continent as the 
*' Pleyel " action. With the exception 

Southwoll's Upright Piano, 1807 

Wornum's Upriglit Action, 

of changing the dampers 
from their position above 
the hammers to a more 
proper place below the ham- 
mers, this Wornum action is 
practically used in all pres- 
ent-day upright pianos. 

Pleyel and other Paris 
firms began now to make a 
specialty of upright pianos 
with such success that square 
pianos hardly obtained a 
foothold in France. 

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Germany began the manufacture of upright pianos in prefer- 
ence to the square about 1835, and discarded the square for good 
about 1860. During this period the Germans, true to their national 
character, built much stronger, heavier uprights, than either the 
French or English, using three strings for each note and applying 
iron plates for hitch-pins, also iron braces between these plates 
and the wrest plank. The tone of the German uprights of those 
days had greater volume than the instruments of their 

The later important export of German pianos had its start at 
that time because of the superior quality of tone and great dura- 
bility of the instruments. When the American makers began to 
pay attention again to the upright piano about 1860 they adopted 

Conover Broa/ Upright Iron Frame, 1885 

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the now perfected system of overstrung scale and full iron frame, 
and thereby produced an instrument which was acceptable, although 
in tone and touch inferior to the best square pianos. 

Germany was quick in adopting the overstrung scale and iron 
frame for its upright pianos and forced England to do likewise 
later on by capturing with their superior instruments much foreign 
trade formerly monopolized by England, while France, Italy and 
Spain came in last. By the time that the American square piano 
became extinct (1880) the ** American System '' was universally 
adopted for upright pianos. However, even the upright piano of 
to-day might still be called ** a remarkable bundle of inventions.'' 
In its entirety it is an open defiance of all the laws of acoustics and 
of proper mechanical construction. 

Because of the necessarily heavy, clumsy frame construction 
the soundboard is almost boxed in between back and front, so that 
the sound cannot develop freely and fully. Whatever tone the per- 
former gets from the upright piano, comes straight toward him 
through the closed-in front, which ** short-stops '' the sound. The 
touch in the upright is tough, non-elastic, because of the necessarily 
short and consequently rigid, stiff keys, but mainly on account of 
the complicated action, which has of necessity a strip and a spring 
to pull and push the hammer back to its natural position after strik- 
ing. In striking the string from above the hammer virtually throws 
the tone into the piano with no chance to escape, while in the open 
square or grand pianoforte it travels unhampered. The upright 
has always been a makeshift, a child of necessity, and for many 
years a total failure. 

In spite of its present, so much improved form and character, 
the upright will never be the piano for the artist, because of its 
incapacity to give any satisfaction to artistic temperament, either 
as to tone or facility in execution. 

That the upright piano is to-day, and perhaps always will be, the 
most popular instrument, notwithstanding its many shortcomings. 

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can be easily explained. The growth of the cities has made land 
so dear that the study for architects has been how to house as 
many people as possible on a small piece of ground. Paris started 
the first so-called apartment houses in the beginning of the 19th 
century. Hence the Paris piano makers were compelled to develop 
upright pianos small enough to fit into the small rooms of the apart- 
ment house, where grand or square pianos could not possibly be 
placed. Germany followed French architecture next ; England fol- 
lowed soon after; and since about 1880 we have had apartment 
houses in American cities, mainly with such small rooms that 
neither a grand nor square piano can be placed conveniently. 
Besides the more convenient form of the upright the lower cost, as 
compared to the cost of a grand piano, is a strong factor in its 
popularity. However, the demand for the ** perfect *' pianoforte 
is increasing so rapidly and strongly that the foremost- makers all 
over the world have for many years, and with varied success, ex- 
perimented to produce a small grand piano which in size and price 
would be accepted by the lover of music. 

The Grand Piano or Forte Piano 

As previously stated this ** wing '' form seems to have been 
used first by Geronimo (1521) and has ever since been preferred 
by all artistic makers in their efforts to produce a piano for the 
concert hall, for the artist. The square piano was born of English 
commercialism, the upright piano started its career of success 
under pressure of the apartment house, but the grand piano has 
ever been the love of the artistic piano maker and the musical 
piano player. The large size, the natural, horizontal position of 
the strings, the opportunity of using a forceful action, answering 
at the same time to the most refined pianissimo touch — an action 
permitting a development upon scientifically and mechanically cor- 

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Google _ 


rect lines — has ever been enticing to the inventive genius and to 
the thinking constructor of pianofortes. We therefore find all the 
early pianofortes of Christofori, Silbermann, Stein and other 
makers possessing this wing form. 

The craze of adding all sorts of unharmonic effects to keyed 
instruments, as on the harpsichord, continued also for a while with 
the grand piano, and we hear of instruments having bell, drum, 
cymbal, triangle, etc., attachments. These vagaries, however, were 
not accepted by the true artist and soon died out. The extent to 
which this craze was finally carried is illustrated by the descrip- 
tion of a grand piano built in 1796 by Still Brothers of Prague, 
Bohemia, for the inventor, a musician by the name of Kunz. This 
monstrosity had 230 strings, 360 pipes and 105 different tonal 
effects. It was three feet nine inches high, seven feet six inches 
long and three feet two inches wide, had two keyboards, one above 
the other, and 25 pedals. The pedals had the following functions: 
To lift the dampers, to produce lute effect, flute, flute traverso dul- 
ciana, salicet, viola di gamba, sifBet, open flute, hollow flute, fagott, 
French horn, clarinet and many others. The inventor evidently 
attempted to obtain, besides the ordinary piano tone, also all kinds 
of organ and orchestral effects, noisy additions which we find to 
a smaller extent with the nickel-in-the-slot playing machines of 

The perfecting of the grand piano, or forte piano {flugel, as 
it was called in Germany), depended entirely upon the develop- 
ment of an action capable of bringing out the greater tone of 
the longer strings and larger soundboard of the grand, and we 
find the masters of the English and German schools for many 
years seriously engaged in solving this problem, to be finally out- 
classed by Sebastian and Pierre Erard, of Paris. Backers' 
grand action, completed about 1776, inspired Robert Stod- 

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art of London to build his first concert piano which he called 
'* Grand Pianoforte," about 1777, and the word grand first applied 
by Stodart was henceforth used by all English and American 
makers for this instrument. 

John Broadwood built his first grand in 1781. Allen and Thorn 
of London patented a grand piano having a complete metal framing 
system in 1820, followed by the Erards in 1823, who constructed 
a grand piano with six resistance iron bars, placed over the sound- 
board, while James Broadwood patented, in 1827, a combination 
of an iron string plate (hitch plate) with resistance iron bars, thus 
coming very near the full iron frame. 

Meantime, Johann Andreas Stein, and his talented daughter, 
Nannette Stein-Streicher, who was not only an excellent musician, 
but also a thoroughly practical and scientific piano maker, had im- 
proved the Schroter action so materially that the grand pianos 
made by them from 1780 on, were preferred by Mozart, Beethoven 
and other masters, perhaps mainly for the reason that this action 
not only had a more elastic touch than the Christofori English 
action, but that it produced a more sympathetic tone, reminding 
of the clavichord tone, which all the great players of that period 
admired so much. This sympathetic tone could only be produced 
with the Vienna action, because the hammer, when striking, would 

Nannette Stein-Streicher Grand Action, 1780 

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Erard's First Iron Bar Grand Piano, 1823 

Erard Repetition Grand Action, 1821 

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to some extent graze or draw along the string, while the more force- 
ful attack of the English ** jack " action is a straight and direct 
percussion. These two elements, the pleasant light elastic touch, 
and the charming musical quality of tone, assured the Vienna grand 
pianos {fliigel) supremacy in Germany, Austria and Italy for many 

Since the *' Vienna school " never aimed for powerful tone, 
during that period, the use of metal for resistance was not devel- 
oped until 1837, when Hoxa of Vienna patented a full iron frame 
for grand pianos. 

In 1808, Sebastian Erard took out a patent for a ** repetition " 
action for grand pianos, in which he attempted to combine the 
elastic touch of the Vienna action with the forcefulness of the 
English action, but evidently without satisfactory result, because 
in 1821 Pierre Erard, nephew of Sebastian Erard, obtained for 
the latter 's invention of a ** repetition or double escapement 
action '^ a patent in England. It is this action which made the 
fame of the Erard grand pianos worldwide. 

Among further important inventions aiding the progress of the 
grand piano must be mentioned Erard 's agraffe, by aid of which 
a bearing down upon the strings was accomplished, preventing the 
very objectionable upward motion of the strings 
when struck by the hammer. These brass 
agraffes, besides assuring proper counter pres- 
sure against the stroke of the hammer, also 
improved the tone, especially in the treble part. 
The idea of downward pressure of the strings 
near the wrest plank was followed up by other 
inventors in various directions and manners 
and finally led to the pressure bar and capo 
tasto, the latter patented by Pierre Erard, in 
1838, and now used in varied forms in nearly all 
grand and upright pianos. Capo Tasto 

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Chickering Grand Iron Frame, 1843 

Turning to America, we find that Loud Brothers of Philadelphia 
built a grand piano of 7)4 -octaves about 1825, while John Jardine 
of New York exhibited a 7-octave grand piano in 1835. Jonas 
Chickering patented his full iron frame for flat scale grand pianos 
in 1843, a great improvement on Broadwood's combination of iron 
hitch plate and resisting bars, establishing the fame of the Chicker- 
ing concert grand. Sixteen years later, Steinway & Sons patented 
their full iron frame for grand pianos with overstrung scale and 
disposition of the strings in the form of a fan. 

After the London exhibition of 1862, the full iron frame came 
largely into use in Germany and Austria, while England and 
France retained the plain scale and bracing system for many 

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years. At the present 
time all prominent mak- 
ers have adopted the 
overstrung scale and full 
iron or steel frames for 
their grand pianos. 

Noteworthy progress 
has also been made in the 
construction of the case 
for grand pianos. Fol- 
lowing the harpsichord 
model, the original grand 
case was ** built up " 
(frame and braces) by 
gluing boards of one to 
two inches in thickness 
together. To work out 
the hollow sides and 
rounded ends from the 
rough form thus con- 
structed with ordinary jack plane, was a very laborious task. Eng- 
land, at that time the land of machinery par excellence, soon 
employed power machines for case making, and constructed the 
curved sides and back, by gluing up hardwood veneers in forms 
identical to the curvature of the piano case. This new process 
was not only more economic, but it also strengthened the case 
materially and was supposed to increase the acoustic properties. 
It was, therefore, soon generally adopted. 

The concert grand piano of to-day is a model of mechanical con- 
struction with proper regard to the laws of acoustics, as we know 
them to-day in their. relations to the pianoforte. Free from all 
empirical and experimental vagaries, the concert grand piano 
of to-day is a most noble instrument, embodying the final evolution 

stein way Grand Iron Frame, 1859 

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Baldwin Grand Case with Acoustic Rim 

of the best thoughts of the greatest masters in the art of piano 
construction. The length of the modern concert grand is usually 
nine feet, with a compass of 7>^ octaves. Ludwig Bosendorfer of 
Vienna builds a concert grand of 10 feet in length, and a compass 
of eight octaves. Going to the other extreme, some makers have 
of late years constructed a small grand as short as five feet. Ernst 
Kaps of Dresden was the first to build a very short grand (1865), 
using a double overstrung scale. Because of its novelty this instru- 
ment was for many years a commercial success. It has, however, 
been established as a fact that shortening the length to about five 
feet is the danger-line for the construction of a small grand, which 

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is to satisfy the artist or musical amateur, as to volume and quality 
of tone, and especially of a well-balanced, even scale. 

The short grand, baptized by Albert Weber the ** baby grand," 
will be the instrument of the future. The clamor for an increased 
full round tone, elastic and easy touch, and never-failing r petition 
in the action of the piano, is the same to-day as it "^ as 2o0 years 
ago, and must be satisfied. The upright piano, having evidently 
reached the apex of its possible development, is unsatisfactory, 
and hence the small grand at moderate price will find many friends 
among music lovers who neither require nor desire the bulky con- 
cert grand for their personal enjoyment or professional studies. 

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The Full Iron Frame, Hawkins, Allen and Thorn, Babcock, Chick- 
ering, Erard, Broadwood, Hoxa, Steinway. 

The Keyboard, Guido of Arezzo, Za?lina, Kirkman, Krause, 
Chromatic Keyboard, Neuhaus, Cludsam, Paul von Janko, 

The Action, Schroter, Christofori, Silbermann, Stein, Streicher, 
Zumpe, Backers, Erard, Friederici, Wornum, Pleyel, Pape. 

The Hammer, Christofori, Silbermann, Pape, Wilke, Kreter, 
Mathushek, Collins, Dolge, Ammon, Steinway. 

The Soundboard, Chladni, Tyndall, Helmholtz, Hansing, Dr. Paul, 
Pape, Mathushek. 

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The Ifin Frame 

IN the year 1808 Wachtl & Bleyer, a Vienna firm of piano 
makers, stated in a publication that the total tension of the 
strings in their grand pianos equalled 9,000 pounds. The 
strings in a modern grand have a total tension of 35,000 to 40,000 

The necessity of a combination of metal with wood in piano 
construction became apparent as soon as the perfected action per- 
mitted of the use of heavier strings. The framework had to 
undergo a change if farther progress in tone volume was to be 
made. Numberless experiments were made with metal tubes and 
bars for braces, underneath the soundboard as well as above, with- 
out lasting result. Even the Hawkins full iron frame of 1800 
was a failure, and history records many futile attempts to solve 
the problem. 

The first acceptable system of bracing by iron tubes was in- 
vented by Allen and Thom of London in 1820. They sold their 
patent rights to Robert Stodart, who immediately constructed 
a grand pianoforte with this system, which withstood a tension 
of 13,000 pounds successfully. Alpheus Babcock of Boston 
followed in 1825 with the first full iron frame for square pianos. 

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With this invention the era 
of the full iron frame was in- 
augurated. That great mechan- 
ical genius, Jonas Chickering, 
patented in 1843 a full iron 
frame for flat scale grand pianos. 
He demonstrated the practica- 
bility of this new system, and 
the so-called Boston school at 
once followed his example, using 
full iron frames for grand, 
square and upright pianos. 

In Europe, Erard experi- 
mented with iron bracing bars 
about 1824, putting as many as 
nine long bars over the sound- 
board of hJs grand pianos. 
Broadwood, more methodical and 
scientific, studied to obtain the 
necessary resistance with as few 
bars as possible, and finally com- 
bined an iron hitch-pin plate with his cross bars, which system 
was patented in 1827. John Broadwood & Sons are now making 
grand and upright pianos with ** barless " steel frame, a notable 
accomplishment, aiding materially in producing an even scale, 
and also permitting the soundboard and strings to vibrate 
unhampered and unaffected by iron cross bars. Another im- 
portant effect is that the weight of the piano is reduced in pro- 
portion. Hoxa of Vienna is on record with a patent for a full 
iron frame for grand pianos in 1837. No doubt the European 
makers of that period objected to the full iron frame because of 
the too metallic tone, for which reason the New York makers also 
were slow in following Chickering and the Boston school. The 

Allen and Thorn's Grand Bracing 
System, 1820 

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majority of the New Yorkers leaned toward the German school, 
seeking quality rather than volume of tone. When, however. Stein- 
way & Sons demonstrated in 1855 that the overstrung system in 
combination with a solid iron frame, could yield the desired volume 
of tone of the desired musical quality, the battle for the iron frame 
was won. 

At the London exhibition of 1862 the American pianos with 
full iron frames were the sensation of the entire piano exhibit. 
After the Paris Exposition of 1867, where the much-improved 
American overstrung iron frame pianos carried off the honors, the 
German makers capitulated and accepted the American system. 
England and France are following slowly, but the universal adop- 
tion of this greatest progress in piano construction is inevitable. 
Constant study and efforts to improve the composition of the 
metals for casting, together with the progress made in the methods 
and mechanical appliances for casting iron, have not only tended 
to overcome the objectionable influence of the iron frame upon 
the tone quality, but the modern iron frame or plate is also in 
form and finish pleasing even to the critical eyes of the artist. 

The casting of iron plates for pianos is one of the most impor- 
tant auxiliary industries of the piano trade of to-day, keeping 
pace with the continual improvement of the piano. The average 
weight of plates in American pianos is as follows : 

Concert Grand 400 pounds, Parlor Grand 300 pounds, 

Baby Grand 250 pounds, Large Upright 200 pounds. 

Small Upright 120 pounds. 

The tension these plates have to withstand averages as follows: 
Concert Grand . 60,000 pounds, Parlor Grand . . 55,000 pounds, 

Baby Grand 50,000 pounds. Large Upright. 38,000 pounds, 

Small Upright. . . . 38,000 pounds. 

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Steinway & Sons' Grand Iron Frame. 1875 

Front V'iew 

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Steinway & Sons' Grand Iron Frame, 1875 

Back V'iew 
Showing " Cupola " Construction 

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Willielm Grotrian's Grand Iron Frame, 1910 

Baldwin Upright Iron Frame, 1910 

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John Broadwood & Sons* Barless Grand Steel Frame, 1910 

John Broadwood & Sons* Barless Upright Steel Frame, 1910 

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BlJ^^^P^F***" ffri^^Slii^t 

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Mason & Hamlin Grand Iron Frame, 1910 

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The Keyboard 

The origin of the keyboard for musical instruments cannot 
be traced with any accuracy. Old records mention a hydraulic 
organ invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria, in the 2d century 
B.C., but no reference is made to a keyboard in that organ. Vitru- 
vius, in his work on architecture (1st century a.d.), describes an 
organ with balanced keys. Next we learn that Emperor Constan- 
tine sent a musical instrument having keys to King Pepin of 
France in 757 a.d. Whether or not that great musical genius, 
Guido of Arezzo, invented the keyboard for a polychord instru- 
ment or was the first one to apply it, cannot be proven, but the 
fact remains that the keyboard was applied to stringed instru- 
ments in his days (first part of the 11th century). 

Guido 's diatonic scale, eight full tones with seven intervals 
of which two were semitones, was used in the first clavichords, 
which had 20 keys. There are no reliable records in existence, 
as to who applied the chromatic scale first. Giuseppe Zarlino 
added the semitones to his instruments about 1548, but instru- 
ments of earlier date have the chromatic scale, as for instance 
the clavicymbala, some of which had 77 keys to a compass of 
four octaves. The keys in some of the early organs were three 
to four inches wide, and the early clavichords also had very wide 
keys, but with the increase of the number of strings, narrowing 
of the keys became a necessity.* 

After the 15th century nearly all the makers of key-stringed 
instruments used the chromatic scale practically as we find it in 
the modern pianos. The semitones in most of those old instru- 
ments are elevated and of a different color than the full tones. 

* Kirkman of London Avent to the extreme of building a grand piano in 1851, 
having a keyboard of 6% octaves, 2 feet 2»4 inches wide, allowing only y^ inch for each 

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Cludsam's Concave Keyboard, 1910 

Since the development of the pianoforte many experiments 
have been made with so-called '* chromatic " keyboards, in which 
the semitones were on a level with the full tones. A Dr. Krause 
of Eisenberg constructed a keyboard in 1811, in which the semi- 
tones were not raised and all keys were of the same color. Krause 
maintained that with such a keyboard the performer could play 
in all the different keys with more ease than if the semitones 
were elevated. Although this innovation was generally rejected, 
various attempts have been made of late to revive this idea, but 
without any result. 

About 1780, Neuhaus, a piano maker of Vienna, constructed 
a concave-formed keyboard for his pianos. He aimed to follow 
the inclination of the human arm to move in a semicircle. Curious 
to relate, this same idea has lately been resuscitated by Cludsara 
of Germany, who obtained patents on such a keyboard and is seri- 
ously attempting its introduction. 

The most ingenious and really meritorious invention, revolu- 
tionary in its character, is the keyboard patented in 1882 by Paul 
von Janko of Austria. Moved by the desire to enable the amateur 
to execute the brilliant, but technically exceedingly difficult, essays 
of our modern composers, Janko constructed a keyboard of six 
tiers, one above the other, similar to the organ keyboard. On 
this keyboard tenths, and twelfths, can easily be produced by reach- 

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Janko-Perzina Keyboard, 1910 

ing a finger to the keyboard above or below that on which the 
hand is traveling. Arpeggios through the whole compass of the 
keyboard can be executed with a sweep of the wrist, which on 
the ordinary keyboard would hardly cover two octaves. Indeed, 
with the Janko keyboard, the hand and arm of the player can 
always remain in their natural position, because to sound an 
octave requires only the stretch of the hand equal to the sounding 
of the sixth on the ordinary keyboard. 

It is difficult to realize the manifold possibilities which this 
keyboard opens up for the composer and performer. Entirely 
new music can be written by composers, containing chords, runs 
and arpeggios, utterly impossible to execute on the ordinary key- 
board, and thus does the Janko keyboard make the piano, what it 
has often been called, a veritable ** house orchestra." It is not 
nearly so difficult for the student to master the technic of the 
Janko, as to become efficient on the present keyboard. This key- 
board can be readily adjusted to any piano having the ordinary 

Like all epoch-marking innovations, this great invention is 
treated with indifference and open opposition. That poetic per- 
former on the piano, Chopin, refused to play on the Erard grand 
pianos containing the celebrated repetition action, because his 

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fingers were used to the stiflF percussion of the English action. 
To-day, however, English makers of concert grand pianos use the 
Erard action which Chopin disdained ! 

The piano virtuosos and teachers of the present day are oppos- 
ing the Janko keyboard because its universal adoption would 
mean for them to forget the old and learn the new. The music 
publishers object to it, because their stock on hand would depre- 
ciate in value, as the Janko keyboard naturally requires different 
fingering than that now printed with the pub i shed compositions. 
For many years the professional piano players could rightfully 
object to the somewhat unelastic touch of the Janko keyboard. 
This objection has been completely overcome by an ingenious im- 
provement accomplished by Paul Perzina of Schwerin, who 
changed the double leverage of the key successfully to a single 

movement as shown in il- 
lustration, assuring the 
desired elastic touch. In 
order to facilitate the at- 
tachment of the Janko 
keyboard, Perzina has in- 
vented a reversible double 
key-bottom, so that the 
Janko as well as the old 
style keyboard can be 
used on the same piano. 

Although the Janko 
keyboard, in its present 
form, is thoroughly prac- 
tical, and destined to in- 
augurate a now era for 
the piano industry, its 
universal success and 
adoption seem to be ira- 

(^4^ ^ J^^^^U^A^ 


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Perzina's Key for Janko Keyboard, 1910 

paired by the appearance of the player piano, which enables the 
musical amateur to enjoy his own performance of the most diffi- 
cult compositions with hardly any exertion on his part. It remains 
for a coming Titan of the pianoforte to lift the Janko keyboard 
out of its obscurity and give it its deserved place in the concert 
hall, there to show to the executing amateur its wonderful 

Perzina's Reversible Key- bottom for Two Keyboards 

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■: ^- H r - ^^m 


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Perzina's Action for Practice Clavier for Janko Keyboard 

Perzina's Practice Clavier with Janko Keyboard 

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Paul von Janko, noble of Enyed, was bom June 2, 1856, at 
Totis, Hungary. After finishing his preparatory studies, he en- 
tered both the Polyt^chnicum and the Conservatory of Music, in 
Vienna. It is quite characteristic of the dual nature of the 
virtuoso-inventor that he left both institutions with the highest 
prizes they offer. 

He continued his musico-mathematical studies at the Berlin 
University under Helmholtz. The immediate result of these 
researches was the keyboard which bears his name. From 1882 
to 1884 he experimented on an ordinary parlor organ; in 1885 
the first Janko grand piano was built; and on March 25, 1886, 
he gave his first concert thereon in Vienna. 

Paul Perzina of Schwerin, who is a firm believer in the future 
of the Janko keyboard, has constructed a very ingenious practice 
clavier for students. As shown by illustrations, the clavier has 
the full keyboard and a tone-producing hanmier action. The ham- 
mer strikes a brass reed, producing a tong similar to the harp and 
zither, sufficiently loud for the player, but not offensive to suffer- 
ing neighbors. The action is so constructed as to require the 
touch of the regular piano action. This practice clavier will no 
doubt aid greatly in introducing the Janko l^eyboard. 

The Development of the Piano Action 

No part of the piano has given the inventor more food for 
thought and opportunity for display of genius than the action. 
The experiments made are almost numberless and it may be said 
that every thinking piano maker has at one time or another fallen 
victim to the lure of ** inventing a new action." Even the author, 
in his early days, sent his hard-earned dollars to Washington 
to pay the fees for a patent for an ** improved upright action." 
Fortunately no piano maker ever embodied this ** important in- 
vention " in his instruments. 

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The action being the motive power of the piano, so to speak, 
gave the restless empiric full reign for the most fantastic experi- 
ments. That a large number of the ablest piano makers of their 
day should, for instance, struggle with the problem of a down- 
ward striking action for grand pianos seems remarkable, but that 
a genius like Henri Pape should expend a fortune in money and 
many years of unceasing labor on the same problem, after such 
masters as Stein, Loud, Sackmeister, Hildebrand, Streicher and 
many more had given up the struggle as hopeless, seems inexpli- 

Loud's Downward Striking Action for Square or Grand Pianos, 1827 

Although the very principle of the downward striking of the 
hammer is of itself contrary to the law of gravitation, and as a 
mechanical proposition ridiculous, Pape not only persisted in his 
own efforts but transmitted his faith in this action even to his 

* While employed by Fred Mathushek (1867-69) the waiter was instructed to 
try and put 12 square pianos, having a downward striking action, in salable con- 
dition. These instruments had been built by Mathushek and for years rested peacefully 
in the attic of the factory building. After wrestling with them for about one week 
all hope of success was abandoned and the suggestion made to Mathushek that the 
furnace of the steam boilers in the factory was the most economic place for those 
pianos. The suggestion was adopted. 

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pupils, such as Mathushek, Stocker of Berlin and others, who 
continued the hopeless efforts for the solution of an impossible 
proposition. No doubt the ambition to invent something strik- 
ingly novel, and thus earn fame as one of the great inventors of 
the industry, prompted these men to waste their talents and time, 
as many others have done. In looking at the various models of 
these downward striking actions, we have only to regret that so 
much ingenuity was so hopelessly thrown away. 

Even to the present day the minds of constructive piano makers 
are mainly busy with action improvements. While it is true that 
since the simplification of the Erard action by Henry Herz no 
radical changes of merit can be recorded, many detail changes and 
improvements have been made in the mechanism, which are in 
the line of progress and permit of a more subtle manipulation 
of the keyboard and pedals than would be possible without them. 

Steinway Tubular Metallic Action Frame, 1866 

Eather important improvements have been made to protect the 
action against atmospheric influences, and to assure greater dura- 
bility in general, such as the metal flanges in upright actions, the 
metal tubes for the protection of the wooden rails, and many 

The evolution of the piano action has passed so regularly and 
correctly from stage to stage that a Darwin would enjoy the study 
thereof. Schroter's hammer action of 1717 is a model of inno- 

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cent simplicity. Even he had the notion of striking the string from 
above as well as below. The drawing fgr his down striking action 
shows, however, no possibility for lifting the hammer away from 
the string after striking. It appears that Schroter depended en- 
tirely upon the counterweight of what might be called the hammer 
butt. Naturally, such a clumsy device made the touch hard and 
tough, and we need not wonder that Bach and other clavichord 
virtuosos of that time would have none of it. 

Johann Andreas Stein's Action, 1780 

Christofori showed in his first model (1707) real mechanical 
genius. His jack permitted an escapement, although faulty. Fur- 
thermore, the silken cord, interlocked crosswise to catch the ham- 
mer shank in its fall after striking, was undoubtedly designed to 
facilitate repetition. In his model of 1720 he succeeded in devising 
a positive acting escapement and substituted for the unreliable 
silk cords a rigid back check for catching the hammer. Indeed, 
Christofori laid down all the laws for the requirements of a 
pianoforte action in his model, which all the later inventors had 
to obsei've in their improvements. 

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Gottfried Silbermann improved the Schroter action by doing 
away with the special escapement lever. He extended the hammer 
butt beyond the axis, using this extension for escapement. About 
1780 Johann Andreas Stein of Augsburg added to this the ** hop- 
per," by aid of which the annoying ** blocking " of the hammer 
was overcome, at the same time improving the touch so much 
that most virtuosos preferred the Schroter-Stein action to the 



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Johann Baptist Streicher's Action, 1824 

The almost final development of this action we find in the 
model of a grand action patented 1824 by Johann Baptist 
Streicher (a grandson of Stein). This action found much favor 
with German makers and in modified forms is still used by some 
Vienna makers. In spite of the fact that masters like Mozart and 
Beethoven preferred the Schroter-Stein action, it had to give 
way finally to the Christofori-Backers action. Zumpe's attempt 
(1776) to simplify the Christofori cannot be considered a success. 
It seems that he merely tried to produce an action of less cost 
than the complicated Christofori. Americus Backers, however, 

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invented in the same year an action on the Christofori principle 
which combined simplicity with all the good points of the Chris- 
tofori action. The Backers invention has to this day remained 
the fundamental model for the English action in its various modi- 
fications, as illustrated in Broadwood's grand action of 1884. 

That independent thinker and mechanical genius, Sebastian 
Erard, departed from both Schroter and Christofori, when he 

Erard's Grand Action, 1821 

constructed his double escapement and repetition grand action, 
patented in 1821. This action is a most ingenious combination of 
the light elastic touch, characteristic of the Vienna action, with 
the powerful stroke of the English action. It is so reliable and 
precise in its movements that it is undisputedly the action par 
excellence for grand pianos. With more or less modifications, 
the Erard grand action is now used by all leading makers of grand 
pianos, except, perhaps, Bosendorfer of Vienna, who still prefers 
the English action for his excellent grand pianos. 

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To what extent thinking piano makers, and the modern special- 
ists, the action makers, have endeavored to improve the original 
Erard repetition action, is shown by the following illustrations, 
comprising the leading models at present in use. 

Erard-Herz Grand Action, Paris, 1850 

Stein way Grand Action, New York, 1884 

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Wessell, Nickel &. Gross' Grand Action, New York, 1890 

Langer Grand Action, Berlin, 1909 


Keller's Grand Action, Stuttgart, 1000 

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Herrburger-Schwander Grand Action, Paris 

Siegfried Hansing's Grand Action, New York, 1898 

Following the development of the action for the upright 
piano, we observe a similar evolution from the crudest device 
to the most complicated mechanism. The upright action of 
Friederici (1745) reminds one, as Hipkins so truly says, of an 
old German clock movement, and it is quite possible that Friederici 
copied it from a clock. After Friederici we find nothing of impor- 
tance until the English ** sticker " action appeared, a device which 

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had nothing else in its favor than its cheapness. This unsatisfac- 
tory action was no doubt, to a large extent, responsible for the 
unpopularity of the early upright piano. 

Robert Wornum of London accomplished for the upright piano 
what Sebastian Erard five years earlier had done for the grand 
piano. It was in 1826 when Wornum patented his ** piccolo '* 
upright action, which has remained the prototype of all upright 
actions used at the present time. The Wornum action made the 
upright piano a practical instrument. Active minds among the 

Friederici's Upright Action, 1745 


English Sticker Upright Action, 1820 

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fL ^L jyi ^^ 

Wornum*8 Upright Action, 1826 

piano makers set to work at once to improve this epoch-making 
invention. Ignace Pleyel and Henri Pape of Paris met with such 
notable results in their efforts in this direction that the Wornum 
action is to this day misnamed by most piano makers the 
** French " action. Perhaps it was called thus also for the reason 
that Paris was first in having establishments that made a specialty 
of producing actions for the piano trade. Their product was of 
such excellent quality that it was soon exported to Germany, Italy, 
Spain, Scandinavia, etc., and the piano manufacturers advertised 
that they had ** French," that is, Paris made, actions in their 

The extent to which the Wornum action has been developed and 
improved at the present day can be observed by the following 
illustrations : 

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; ..J 

Brinsmead Upright Action 

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Lianger Upright Action 

Uerrburger- Sell wander Upriglit Action 

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Seaverns Upright Action 
Showing Metal Flange 

Wessell, Nickel & Gross' Upright Action 

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Development of the Piano Hammer 

The hammer used by Christofori, Silbermann and other early 
makers consisted of a small wooden block covered with soft 
leather. With the increase of tone volume the hammer had to 
undergo changes and we soon find hammers having instead of 
the block form a longer wedge form, tapering toward the top. To 
assure firmness, this wedge-like molding was first covered with 
a piece of firm sole leather, over which a soft piece of sheepskin 
was glued. Next we find larger hammers in which the foundation 

Christofori Hammer 

Hammers Covered with Leather 

over the wooden molding was a piece of very hard sole leather 
a quarter of an inch thick, followed by a medium firm elkskin 
covering and topped oflF with a covering of very soft, specially 
prepared deer or buckskin. 

The art in hammer making has ever been to obtain a solid, firm 
foundation, graduating in softness and elasticity toward the top 
surface, which latter has to be silky and elastic in order to produce 
a mild, soft tone for pianissimo playing, but with sufficient resist- 
ance back of it to permit the hard blow of fortissimo playing. 
When the iron frame permitted the use of heavier strings, the 
leather hammer proved insufficient, and we find Alpheus Babcock, 

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of Boston, taking out a patent in 1833 on a hammer covered with 
felt. Two years later, P. F. Fischer of London (a friend of 
Henri Pape) obtained an English patent for piano hammer felt. 
It is surmised that this patent is really for an invention of Henri 
Pape of Paris, who at that time experimented with hair felt for 
hammer covering, cutting up soft beaver hats for that purpose. 

Getting very good results therewith, but not being able to slice 
this hairy hat felt thin enough for the treble hammers, Pape in- 
duced a hatter to make a hair felt in sheets tapering from a quar- 
ter of an inch to one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Pape in 1839 ex- 
hibited pianos having hammers covered with such felt, and it seems 
that the credit for the invention of tapered hammer felt belongs to 

Hammers Covered with Leather and Felt 

We now find the following combination in the hand-made ham- 
mers of those days : Directly over the wooden head, a covering 
of hard sole leather, then elkskin, and over that a covering of 
hair or wool felt up to about the last two treble octaves, which 
were covered with buckskin. The elkskin was soon replaced by 
a firm felt called underfelt, which was not only more economical, 
but also firmer than elkskin, possessing the required elasticity. 

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Gradually the sole leather was replaced by another under felt, so 
that we now have the entire hammer made of three thicknesses 
of felt, each layer of its required firmness. The use of deerskin 
as a covering for the last two or three octaves was continued, espe- 
cially in square pianos which had only two strings, more for pro- 
tection, however, than for tone results. Felt making had not 
advanced sufficiently to produce a material so closely interknitted 
as to withstand the cutting of the wires on the thinly covered 
treble hammers. 

The ever-increasing thickness of the strings, to produce greater 
volume of tone, necessitated a more forceful hammer than could 
be produced by the hand-made method, and many attempts were 
made to construct machines for gluing the felt to the wooden 
head. About 1835 Wilke, piano maker at Breslau, invented a 
machine in which a full set of hammers could be covered with 
felt at one time. It seems that hammers made on this machine 
were not considered as good as the hand-made, because nearly 
all European makers continued the hand method until about 1867, 
when the American pianos, shown at the Paris exposition, made 
a lasting impression. In America two in- 
ventors patented hammer-covering ma- 
chines in 1850. Rudolf Kreter of New 
York patented a most ingenious but very 
complicated machine. Its main fault was 
that, because of manifold attached springs 
and levers, it was impossible to use felt 
over half an inch thick, and the cry was 
for a larger, heavier hammer. This ma- 
chine, which had many elements of the 
present hammer-covering machines, came 
into possession of Alfred Dolge in 1871, 
who later on sold it as a curiosity to Brooks ^, ^. ^ ^ ^ ,^ 

•' Machine-Covered Felt 

of London. Hammer, 1871 

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Frederick Mathushek's patent of 1850 was for a hammer-cover- 
ing machine of much simpler construction than Kreter's. It was 
patterned after the Wilke machine, the frame built of wood, with 
10 iron screws, five each for down and side pressure. About 1863 
Benjamin Collins, a piano and hammer maker of Boston, came 
out with an improvement on the Kreter machine. In Kreter's 
as well as Mathushek's machine, the covered hammer had to stay 
in the machine until the glue had thoroughly hardened. Collins, 
taking Kreter 's iron frame machine as a pattern, changed it so 
that the caul or form into which the hammer is pressed could 
be locked, after the felt was glued on, and the caul with the ham- 
mers removed from the machine in order to repeat the operation 
with another set. But even Collins' machine, like others, was too 
light in construction to make the heavy hammers demanded for 

Dolge Hammer-Covering Machine, 1887 

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Dolge Hammer-Covering Machine, 1887 

the large concert grand pianos. Most makers increased the 
strength of the Mathushek machine, which was generally adopted 
because of its simplicity, but it was very difficult to produce the 
desired pointed hammer with the thicker felt required. 

In 1887 Alfred Dolge patented an improved hammer-covering 
machine, built upon the principle of drawing the felt upward, by 
the aid of an inclined plane on which the side cauls travel. This 
principle and the ease with which great pressure can be brought 
to bear with less physical exertion, as compared to the old style 
machine, has made this Dolge machine very popular. Undergoing: 
more or less changes this machine is now in use in most of the 
prominent shops and factories. With the use of the heavier cover- 
ing machine, the so-called ** single coat " hammer made its ap- 
pearance. The illustrations show a single coat grand hammer 
made on the Dolge machine from felt one and one-half inches thick, 
and an upright hammer made of felt one and one-fourth inches 

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Single Coat Felt Hammer for Grand 

Single Coat Felt Hammer for Upright 

Opinions differ very much as to the value of single coat ham- 
mers, considering their increased cost, in comparison with the 
double coat. The latter is universally used at present, single coat 
being the exception. As far back as 1873 the author made, in his 
factories at Dolgeville, N. Y., for Steinway & Sons, hammer felt 
one and three-fourth inches thick in bass and weighing 22 pounds 
to a sheet, which measured 36 inches wide and 43 inches long. This 
extraordinary thick felt was used for concert grand piano ham- 
mers, and although splendid results were achieved, the heavy 
hammer affected the touch too much. It is now generally agreed 
that felt weighing 17 to 18 pounds to a sheet is sufficiently heavy 
for grand hammers, and 13 to 14 pounds is the usual weight of 
felt used for upright hammers. 

While the modern hammer-covering machine does turn out a 
much more uniform hammer all through the scale than could pos- 

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sibly be produced by the best artisan by the handmade method, 
further progress and improvements are necessary in order to 
produce a perfect hammer which will require less needle work 
on the part of the voicer or tone regulator. With the present 
machines, the operator has no control of the pressure exercised; 
he does not know but has to guess whether the felt is pressed 
down sufficiently or not. The rigidness of the covering machine 
does not permit of any variation in pressure to be used, so neces- 
sary on account of the uneven texture of the felt. The author has 
given this subject most serious thought for the past forty years, 
and has made many costly experiments, which finally culminated 
in the construction of a machine as shown in the illustration. 

Dolge-Gardner Compressed Air Hammer-Covering Machine, 1910 

Compressed air is used, and the required pressure can be gauged 
to a nicety and regulated as the texture of the felt or firmness 
required by the piano maker may dictate. Having three inde- 
pendent cylinders, more or less pressure can be applied, as may 
be desirable, at either section of the set of hammers. Martin 

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Gardner, for years master mechanic in the Alfred Dolge Felt 
Company factories, Dolgeville, Cal., built this machine under the 
author's instruction and supervision, and designed and originated 
many important detail improvements. Similar to the Collins 
machine, the cauls are removable after the felt is glued on to the 
molding, and it is estimated that two expert gluers can cover 
about two hundred and forty set of hammers in ten hours on one 
machine. While speed and saving of floor space are desirable 
in modern manufacturing, the main object sought for in this 
machine is the production of a hammer having an even gradation 
in texture. It is entirely within the control of the operator to 
give the hammer any desired degree of firmness with this 

Exhaustive experiments which the author has made during the 
past thirty years in the construction of automatic hammer-cover- 
ing machines, to be operated by steam or hydraulic power, have 
led to the conclusion that compressed air is preferable in every 
respect, because the cylinders are instantly and independently 
controlled by a turn of a valve. 

Mention must be made of a patent ob- 
tained in 1893 by John Ammon, a New York 
piano maker, for a process of gluing a strip 
of tapered hammer felt together and then 
inserting the same into a wooden hammer 
head, having two prongs on top. Ammon 's 
motive was to economize felt. It does require 
much less felt by Ammon 's method than glu- 
ing the felt around the molding, but the ham- 
mer designed by Ammon is utterly imprac- 
ticable for many reasons, principally because 
it is impossible to get the treble hammers of 
sufficient firmness to produce a satisfactory 

tone. Ammon Hammer 

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Alfred Dolge saw in Amnion's invention the embryo of a ham- 
mer which might, to a considerable extent, solve the vexing prob- 
lem of preventing the flattening out of the hammer through usage. 
It is impossible to produce a well pointed hammer with the present 
method of hammer covering, even if the felt is forced into a sharply 
pointed mold of the covering machine. The hammer will invari- 
ably flatten out when it comes under the needle of the voicer or 
tone regulator and, of course, much more so through striking the 
strings, because it has no bracing or support of any kind and 
can give way freely. Consequently, after short usage, all felt ham- 
mers show a flat surface on top, so inimical to good tone produc- 
tion. To combat this flattening out of the hammers Steinway & 
Sons saturate the felt about half-way up with a chemical solu- 
tion, which finally hardens that part of the felt sufficiently to 
check the flattening out to some extent. This led the author 
to the idea of making a hammer molding in which the upper 
half is split open by a saw-kerf, thus obtaining two prongs which 
are shaped by the ordinary wood-steaming process into a 


steinway Saturated Hammer ^^^^^^"^ ^^ Ammon-Dolge 


Ammon-Dolge Hammer 

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clasp. The clasp-like prongs reach beyond the center of the 
glued-up felt. As shown in the illustration, the felt is forced 
into the clasp and then secured by a metal agraffe, passing 
through both prongs of the clasp, tightening the prongs so 
firmly on the felt that a flattening out of the felt is impossible, 
except through its wearing off. It is readily perceivable that the 
foundation of the hammer so constructed must be of a firmness 
and solidity not attainable by the old method of covering. Not 
only that the center part of the felt is glued together very tightly, 
but the felt itself is pressed between the firm shoulders of the 
clasp, thus becoming one solid body with the wooden head. The 
author had a grand piano containing such hammers at his home, 
and although his five boys used this piano almost daily for their 
pratice for several years, the hammers showed very little usage 
and wear. It is, of course, important that only the very best, 
most densely interknitted felt, should be used for hammers of 
this type. Instead of reducing the cost, as Ammon intended, the 
improved hammer of this type costs fully twenty-five per cent, 
more to produce than the ordinary. The author is of the opinion 
that this improvement in hammer making will finally prevail, 
especially since much greater durability is required for the ham- 
mers in the self-playing piano than the present form of construc- 
tion admits of. 

The Soundboard 

The science of acoustics as developed by Chladny, Tyndall, 
Helmholtz, and in its direct relation to the piano, especially by 
Siegfried Hansing, has given us much enlightenment as to the 
proper and correct laying out of a scale, also the laws controlling 
the production of sound by percussion and otherwise, but none 
of these scientists can advise as to the scientifically correct con- 
struction of the soundboard. The much coddled theory of '' tone 

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waves " found its most obstinate opponent in the soundboard of 
the pianoforte, disproving forcibly almost every argument brought 
forward in favor of this theory. Not finding any assistance from 
scientists, the piano maker had to rely entirely upon empiric ex- 
periments, to construct a soundboard best adapted to his scale. 
All the experiments, and their names are legion, ended in coming 
back to the plain soundboard as constructed by the clavichord and 
harpsichord makers of the early days, namely, a board of as large 
a size as the case of the piano would permit, made of the best 
quality of well-seasoned fir, strengthened by bars or ribs glued 
on crossways. The various writers on piano construction differ 
materially regarding the importance of the soundboard in relation 
to tone development in the piano. The careful and learned Dr. 
Oscar Paul, laboring under the ban of the ** wave theory,'' insists 
that the soundboard is the very soul of the piano and that 
tone quality as well as volume depend altogether upon its con- 
struction. Indeed, he holds that the tone is produced by the sound- 
board and not by the string. 

Siegfried Hansing in his book '* The Pianoforte and Its 
Acoustic Properties,'' shows the fallacy of this contention beyond 
contradiction. He bases his argument on Pellisow's proven doc- 
trine that the ear does not perceive sound through so-called tone 
waves, but because of the shock or jolt by which the sound is 
created. Consequently, Hansing looks upon the soundboard as 
a drum, upon which the vibrations of the strings, caused by the 
striking of the hammer, are delivered as shocks or jolts. 

Hansing disclaims the existence of the ear harp, assumed by 
Helmholtz and others, as an impossibility and maintains that the 
ear is an apparatus to measure the intervals between shocks, dis- 
tinguishing the higher tones by their shorter, and the lower tones 
by their longer, intervals. He does not believe that a properly 
constructed soundboard ever has any transverse vibrations which 
affect the tone, as demonstrated by the successful experiments of 

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Mathushek and Moser, whose double soundboards were glued to- 
gether so that the grain of the one crossed the grain of the other 
at right angles. This method of construction makes any transverse 
vibration impossible, and instruments containing such boards are 
not inferior in volume and quality of tone to any other. 

Hansing thus proves that the soundboard does not give forth 
sounds, but that it only augments and transmits the sound origi- 
nating with the string, through a tremor, which is the effect of 
the motion producing the sound; namely, the percussion of the 
string by the hammer. This important discovery will assist mate- 
rially in the further search for soundboard improvements, but 
even Hansing admits that for the present the piano constructor 
has to rely on empiric experiments for final results. 

To mention a few of the most telling experiments made to im- 
prove the efficiency of the soundboard, we find Jacob Goll of 
Vienna using iron and copper with reasonable success in 1823; 
but, no doubt, the primitive conditions of the metal industries of 
those days made the use of metal too expensive, as compared to 
wood. Henri Pape of Paris, that king of piano empirics, experi- 
mented not only with all kinds of wood and metal, but tried even 
parchment. All these materials transmitted the sound of the 
strings, except the parchment, which proved totally unfit for use 
in the treble sections. 

During the writer's engagement with the Mathushek factory 
in 1867-69, exhaustive experiments were made to find the most 
responsive thickness for a soundboard. With boards from fully 
one inch in thickness, without ribs, graduated down to boards only 
three-sixteenths of an inch thick in treble, and with proportionately 
heavy ribs, numberless tests were made. Curious to relate, all of 
the pianos had a satisfactory tone, diflfering, of course, in quality. 
The thick boards responded with a thick, somewhat stiff, woody 
quality, the pianos with the thinner boards had a more sympa- 
thetic, soulful, but weaker tone. The most satisfactory tone quality 

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was found in the pianos which had the ^^ regulation " soundboard, 
three-eighths of an inch thick in treble, tapering off to one-fourth 
of an inch in bass, ribs placed at nearly equal distances apart, 
except in the last treble octave, where they lay somewhat closer 
together. These trials and tests proved conclusively that the 
soundboard does not produce sound by aid of sound waves, but 
simply transmits and augments the sound produced by the vibra- 
tion of the string. They further proved that the soundboard is 
not nearly as much of a factor in tone production as the string, 
the proper length, thickness and position of which, together with 
the most advantageous striking point for the hammer, are the 
all-important factors to be considered in piano construction. 

Attempts to increase the volume of tone by using double sound- 
boards, connected by wooden posts or otherwise, the imitation of 
the violin or cello form, carefully worked out corrugated sound- 
boards, etc., have all been in vain and are discarded for good. 
Several ingenious devices to sustain the resistance of the sound- 
board against the downward pressure of the strings are recorded. 
Among them Mathushek's ** equilibre " system, patented in 1879, 
is perhaps the most scientific, but the result achieved is not in 
proportion to the increased cost. Mathushek surmised, what Han- 
sing established as a scientific fact, that the soundboard is not 
affected by so-called sound waves, and when he discarded his 
equilibre system because of its high cost, he returned to the thick 
soundboard without ribs. In 1891 he patented his duplex sound- 
board, which is a combination of two boards, cross-banded and 
glued together. The boards are made thickest at the center where 
the bridge rests, in order to withstand the pressure of the 

On October 2, 1900, Richard W. Gertz obtained a patent for a 
Tension Resonator for Pianos, the purport of which is to regulate 
the pressure in the arch of the soundboard against the strings 
and to assist the vibratory efficiency of the entire soundboard. 

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thereby increasing the inten- 
sity of tone produced by the 
striking of the hammer 
against the string. 

Another function of this 
resonator is to restore the 
original arched form of the 
soundboard when, through 
age or atmospheric influ- 
ences, the same has given 
away to the pressure of the 

The tension rods with the 
conical shaped head, inserted 
into the rim, draw together 
the entire rim upon which 
the soundboard is fastened, 
and force the latter back to 
its original arched form, re- 
instating and enlivening the 
vibratory action of the entire 
Radiating from the center of the piano to all parts of the rim 
the tension rods can be screwed up, either simultaneously to bring 
pressure upon the entire board, or individually if any part of 
the soundboard should show a pronounced flatness. They are 
furthermore of great value in maintaining the correct form and 
shape of the rim. This invention has been applied to all the grand 
pianos made by Mason & Hamlin since the granting of the patent. 
Experience so far has shown that the best material for sound- 
boards is the wood of the fir tree, growing in the mountain regions 
of Southern Europe and North America. 

Whether or not the development of the steel industry will 
furnish the piano maker eventually with rolled sheets for sound- 

Bottom of Grand Piano showing Richard W. 
Gertz's Tension Resonator 

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boards, made of proper 
vibratory metal, and in ta- 
pered form, is speculative. 
It is not improbable, how- 
ever, that the piano of the 
future may have a metal 
soundboard. We do know 
that the sound in the piano 
originates with the steel 
string, and that it is only 
transmitted" by the sound- 
board, materially assisted by 
proper construction of the 
wooden frame of the piano. 
We also know that the iron 
frame has no deleterious in- 
fluence upon the tone quality, 
and since all piano construct- 
ors are still seeking for a clear, bell-like, singing quality of tone, 
may not the solution be found in a soundboard of steel, so con- 
structed as to successfully withstand the pressure of the strings, 
and to assist the steel strings in tone production! 

Evidently the soundboard is the only part of the modern piano 
which calls upon the inventor for further investigation, on scien- 
tific lines, until the laws are found upon which to build a piano, 
not necessarily with a louder, but with a more soulful tone, such 
as the old clavichord possessed in limited quantity. 

Richard W. Gertz's Resonator 
View of Soundboard Rim and Tension Rods 

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The Supply Industries, Lumber (old and new methods of season- 
ing), Felt, Wire, Actions. 

Felt Making, Pape, Whitehead, Naish, Billon, Fortin, Weickert, 

Piano Wire, Fuchs, Webster & Horsfall, Miller, Poehlmann, 
Washburn & Moen, Houghton, Smith, World's Fair Tests. 

Actions, Brooks, Isermann, Gehrling, Herrburger-Schwander, 
Morgenstern & Kotrade, Lexow, Langer & Company, Fritz & 
Meyer, Keller, Frickinger, Seavems. 

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PERHAPS no other class of manufacturing depends more 
largely upon auxiliary industries, each of itself of con- 
siderable magnitude, than the piano industry. It is fur- 
thermore true that the piano industry could not have made its 
marvelous progress, had not the auxiliary industries kept pace 
with the inventive piano maker, oftentimes anticipating his wants 
and providing superior material which permitted the improve- 
ment of the piano. Wire for strings and felt for hammers are 
two of the materials which have been continually improved by the 
manufacturers in advance of the piano maker's demands. It is 
therefore proper that the development of the supply industries 
should be recorded in these pages. 

All inhabited parts of the globe contribute, more or less, the 
raw material for a piano. Asia and Africa supply the ivory and 
ebony for the keyboard. Sweden, England and America, iron ore 
for strings, pins and plates. North and South America, Australia 
and Africa, wool for felts, while Europe, North and South 
America, the Philippine and West India islands supply the various 
kinds of wood. 


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Wood Used in Piano Construction 

It is not so many years ago since the piano maker of Germany 
was obliged to go to the forest and buy at auction such logs as 
he might select for his purpose. If a sawmill was near by, he had 
his logs delivered there, giving the sawyer special instruction as 
to how to saw each log. Oftentimes the logs had to be transported 
to his factory yard, where they had to be sawed into planks and 
boards by two men moving a big handsaw up and down, one man 
standing on top of the log, the other in a pit under the log. The 
writer saw, at a prominent factory in London, this process still 
in vogue in 1879. 

With the introduction of power-driven woodworking machinery, 
the millmen and lumber dealers began to specialize, and supplied 
the piano maker with selected boards or planks, sawed to the thick- 
ness and length required. Receiving the lumber from the mill, 
it was carefully stacked up for air seasoning. As soon as the sap 
had hardened, the planks were brought into the shop and there 
again carefully stacked up about 7 feet from the floor, to get the 
benefit of the even temperature of the closed room. This awkward 
and slow process of seasoning lumber after being air-dried was 
done away with by the introduction of the steam-heated dry-kiln. 
Endless experiments have been made to force the sap out of the 
wood, by boiling, or using tremendous pressure upon the lumber 
as soon as it came from the saw, in order to do away with the 
costly air drying process, but none has turned out a success for 
lumber to be used in pianos. Wood dried so forcedly loses all its 
strength, life and pliability, and since every part of the piano is 
supposed to assist in tone production, it follows that wood 
deadened by forced drying is unfit for use. Hence, a well stocked 
lumber yard is to this date a positive necessity. 

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Some of the large piano manufacturers of America carry as 
much as three to five million square feet of lumber constantly in 
their yards, A New York corporation invested $400,000 not long 
ago, in a stock of hardwood veneers 14 to 28 feet long, to be used 
for bent rims on grand pianos, merely for fear that such long 
veneers of the required straight grain, length and width could 
not often be found in the market. The investment is considered 
a good one from a financial point, since hardwood is rapidly 
advancing in value, far in excess of the interest account. 

For the manufacturing of veneers, inventors have been pro- 
lific in devising improved sawing appliances as well as rapidly- 
working automatic machines for cutting \^ith knives. An entire 
log can be placed in front of the knives, which are up to 16 feet 
long, and veneers cut off, as thin as one thirty-second of an inch, 
continuously until the log is used up. 


The manufacture of lumber for soundboards has been fol- 
lowed up as a specialty for over 100 years. The first specialists 
in this line were owners of forests in the mountains of Bohemia 
and Tyrol. Instead of sawing the logs into boards, they were 
split, like the old-time American fence rail, into boards of about 
one inch thickness. The clavichord or piano maker of 100 years 
ago would not have thought of using sawed lumber for his sound- 
boards. He believed in the theory that sound waves traveled along 
the grain of the wood, and since the saw would not follow the 
grain, unless the tree had grown up perfectly straight (which no 
tree ever does), the piano maker imagined that the imperceptible 
crossing of the grain by the saw would interfere with the sound 
waves. To-day, with a production of approximately 650,000 pianos 
per year, all the lumber for soundboards is sawed, either with 
gang or circular saws, and the pianos are better than ever. 

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The Bohemian and Swiss manufacturers of soundboard lumber 
prepared their product most carefully. After cutting out all knots, 
shakes and other imperfections, the rough boards were smoothed 
off by handplaning, cut into lengths of from 4 to 8 feet and then 
carefully packed in boxes 2 feet wide, containing 60 layers each. 
Length and width of board dictated the price of the lumber, 
boards 8 feet long, 4 boards to the layer, bringing nearly twice as 
much per square foot as boards 4 feet long and having 5 or 6 
to the layer. In America, soundboard lumber was sold as it came 
from the sawmill, and the piano maker could hardly ever utilize 
more than forty per cent, of what he bought. 

The author revolutionized this branch of the supply business 
by commencing in 1874 to manufacture finished soundboards for 
the trade at his mills in Dolgeville, N. Y. This innovation was 
welcomed by the piano makers, who could now carry a full stock 
of boards on hand, exposing the finished board to a thorough sea- 
soning in their factories, for as long a time as desired, with less 
investment than was necessary to carry a sufficient stock of sound- 
board lumber in their yards. I and my associates invented a num- 
ber of special devices and machines for gluing up and planing the 
entire boards, none of which was patented. Among these machines 
the great cylinder planer with bed and knives five feet wide must 
be mentioned. Every builder of woodworking machinery then in 
business refused to accept the order for such a machine, claiming 
that a width of three feet was the limit of safety for a planing 
machine cylinder. I constructed a machine planing five feet in 
width which was such a success that similar machines are now 
in use in many factories of Europe and America. Two men can 
plane 300 soundboards to perfection on such a machine, within 
10 hours, while it is an easy matter to finish off 400 boards per 
day on the modern cylinder sandpapering machine. The best work- 
man could not finish over 10 boards per day with a handplane. 

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Fully ninety per cent, of the soundboards used are now sup- 
plied to the piano trade by concerns making a specialty of the 
business. The forests of Bohemia and Tyrol having been exhausted, 
the European makers have to get their supply of lumber from 
Galicia and Roumania. In America the forests of the Adiron- 
dacks and White Mountains have from the beginning been the 
source of supply. Even these great forests are passing rapidly 
and new sources of supply must be sought. The author, after 
thorough personal investigation, found splendid material on the 
west coast of North America, more particularly in the mountain 
forests of Oregon and Washington, and consequently started a 
soundboard factory at Los Angeles, Cal., in 1903, supplying not 
only the American trade, but exporting largely to Germany also. 

The best soundboard lumber comes from the mountain districts 
of the temperate zone, at an altitude of 3,000 to 5,000 feet above 
sea, where timber growth is thriftiest. Trees not over 100 years 
of age are the most desirable, the wood being strong and elastic. 
Trees under 70 years of age are not matured and have too much 
undeveloped sapwood. 

Several of the American soundboard manufacturers are also 
making a specialty of ribs, bridges, wrest planks and complete 
backs for upright pianos. 

Piano Cases 

Case making for the trade has been a specialty in America 
for over 50 years, and nearly all manufacturers of commercial 
pianos buy their cases ready made. It is readily understood that 
a manufacturer making a specialty of cases, producing as many 
as 10,000 to 30,000 per year, can afford to make a much larger 
investment for labor-saving machinery and devices than a piano 
maker who turns out 500 to 2,000 pianos per year. The tendency 
of the age is for economic specialization in all branches of indus- 

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try, and the '' compiler " of the various ready-made parts of a 
piano does, beyond doubt, produce a better commercial instrument, 
than if he should attempt to make each part of the piano in his 
own shop. 

The tremendous growth of the piano industry has, on the other 
hand, developed individual concerns, which turn out from 5,000 
to 20,000 pianos per year. Such firms, of course, avail themselves 
of the advantages of labor-saving machinery in all departments. 
Some of these large concerns own forest lands, have large saw- 
mills, and, of course, make their own cases, keys and actions, even 
casting their own iron plates. 

The London manufacturers were the first to introduce power- 
driven machinery in their factories. As far back as 1850, some 
of their leading firms were producing from 2,000 to 3,000 pianos 
per annum, a quantity which made the use of steam-power 
machinery an economic proposition. Machinery is only economic 
when it can be continually employed. The piano maker with a 
limited production cannot avail himself of that advantage. Con- 
sequently, as a matter of commercial and industrial evolution, the 
specialists, such as case makers, key and action makers, have 
become indispensable to the industry. They made possible the 
production of a reliable, satisfactory instrument, at a price within 
the reach of the masses. 

Development of th& Piano Felt Industry 

Felt is a fabric formed of wool or hair, or wool and hair, by 
taking advantage of the natural tendency of the fiber to interlace 
and mat together by aid of the moisture and heat during the con- 
tinuous process of rolling, beating and pressure. The invention 
or discovery of the felting process dates back to the age of our 
cave-dwelling ancestors, whose sole wardrobe was a sheepskin 
coat, which through use became densely matted. Julius Caesar 

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organized a light brigade, which had felt breastplates as a pro- 
tection against the enemies' weapons. In the ruins of Pompeii 
a complete plant for scouring and pressing felts has been found. 

The first attempt at using machinery for the production of 
felts was made in England. The patent granted to P. F. Fischer 
of London, 1835, describes a piano hammer felt, which is firm on 
one side and soft on the other, and made in sheets, tapering in 
thickness. As stated elsewhere, this description is identical with 
Henri Pape's invention, and can undoubtedly be traced to him. 

Whitehead Brothers of Manchester, England, are said to be 
the first who made the manufacturing of piano hammer felt a spe- 
cialty. They were followed by Billon and Fortin of Paris and 
Weickert (1847) of Leipsic, Germany. Naish of Wilton, England, 
started in 1859. These firms controlled the market until the author 
started his factories in 1871. 

There are two essential requisites for a good piano hammer 

First, it must be well felted to insure wearing quality, because 
the continual pounding of the hammer against the steel strings in 
the piano is liable to cut the fiber of the felt if the fiber is not 
closely connected. With this thorough felting, however, a pro- 
nounced elasticity is indispensable, in order to enable the hammer 
to rebound quickly from the string. From these two requisites 
arises the art of making felt for piano hammers. 

A short description of the process of felt making will interest 
many readers. Wool of the merino sheep, raised either in North 
America or Cape Colony in Africa, is best adapted for hammer 
felt. In the scouring process, the weight of the wool, as it comes 
from the sheep's back, shrinks about seventy-five per cent.; that 
is to say, 100 pounds of raw wool will yield only 25 pounds of 
workable wool after scouring. After the wool is thoroughly dried 
and opened up by passing through so-called picker machines, it 

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is thoroughly carded and then formed into sheets. Since almost 
every piano maker has his own peculiar notions as to the thickness 
and tapering of the felt, there were no standards in the beginning 
and the felt had to be formed by hand, putting one layer of wool 
over the other as the tapering would dictate. A sheet of felt 
weighing about 12 pounds when finished, measuring one inch in 
thickness in bass, and tapering down to one-eighth of an inch in 
treble, being about 38 inches square, would measure 10 inches 
in thickness in bass, one inch in treble and be about 54 
inches square before the felting began. This unwieldy mass 
of wool is hardened down and fulled, until the sheet has shrunk 
to the above-mentioned size and thickness. No chemicals are used 
by any good felt maker in the fulling process, only soap and hot 
water being applied.* 

In 1874 the author invented a process by which the wool is 
fed through the cards in accordance with a correct mathematical 
calculation, so as to form on an apron or belt the correct thickness 
and taper required. This apron carries the carded wool sufficient 
for six full sheets of felt, making about 100 sets of hammers. 

The apron passes through a set of hardening rollers, which 
continuously unite each thin web as it comes from the carding ma- 
chine, thus assuring a most positive interknitting of each layer of 
wool with the other, and furthermore a uniformity of taper not 
attainable by the hand-laying process. 

The author received for his hammer felts the highest awards 
at the World's Fairs of Vienna, 1873; Philadelphia, 1876; Paris, 
1878; and Chicago, 1893. The felt made by the above described 
process was preferred by all the leading makers of America and 
extensively used by many of the foremost piano makers of Europe. 

* Many piano makers have the erroneous idea that the fine white dust, which 
they observe when sandpapering the hammers, is composed of chalk. The admixture 
of chalk would almost kill the fulling process. The white dust referred to is pure 
wool, finely ground by the action of the sandpaper file of the piano maker. 

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The felt factories founded by Alfred Dolge have been amalga- 
mated with a number of other felt factories, producing principally- 
commercial felts, and the product has lost its identity. 

Piano Hammer Making 

Hammer making as a specialty and rising to the dignity of an 
industry began in America with the invention of Mathushek's 
hammer-covering machine, in 1850. In England the handmade 
hammers were for many years produced as a house industry. 
American machines (Dolge model) were introduced in the London 
shops about 1880. Germany started this special industry about 
1845, when Merckel of Hamburg supplied the action maker Iser- 
mann, and many piano makers, with handmade hammers. He intro- 
duced machines of his own construction in 1860. Hammer-cover- 
ing machines of the American pattern were generally adopted in 
Germany about 1870. 

In America hammer covering, especially for the commercial 
pianos, is largely controlled by the felt and action makers. Sev- 
eral firms make a specialty of hammer covering, but all the larger 
piano manufacturers make their own hammers. 

The Piano Wire Industry 

Records tell us that iron wire for musical instruments was 
drawn at Augsburg as early as 1351, but Fuchs of Nuremberg was 
perhaps the first who made the manufacturing of piano wire a 
specialty, supplying the clavichord and harpsichord makers of 
the 18th century. 

About 1820 a Berlin firm succeeded in producing a wire which 
was soon preferred to Fuchs 's make, to be again driven out of 
the market by Webster & Horsfall of Birmingham who brought 
out their piano wire, made of cast steel, in 1834. 

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This cast steel wire was so superior to the iron wire that the 
English firm soon had a monopoly. 

But in 1840 Martin Miller of Vienna came out with a wire 
superior to Webster's and a strong competition began, especially 
when RoUason & Son, Smith & Houghton and others also took up 
this industry in England. 

Miller's wire continued, however, to be in favor with most 
of the German piano makers, until Moritz Poehlmann of Nurem- 
berg started to make his world renowned product about 1855. In 
the first competitive test, Poehlmann 's wire proved to be of greater 
density than Miller's, but not of equal tensile strength. Miller's 
wire would, however, stretch much more than Poehlmann 's, con- 
sequently would not stand in tune as well as Poehlmann 's much 
denser, better hardened wire. At the Paris Exposition of 1867 
the Jury on Piano Wire tested the various makes exhibited, on a 
machine loaned by Pleyel, Wolff & Company. Poehlmann 's wire 
proved so far superior to any other make that he received the 
highest prize. As a natural consequence all the leading piano 
manufacturers of Europe and America adopted the Poehlmann 
make for their pianos. Moritz Poehlmann deserves particular 
credit for his never-ceasing efforts to improve his wire, not only 
as to tensile strength, but also even gradation of sizes and excel- 
lent polish, so necessary a protection against rust. Poehlmann 's 
remarkable success not only incited his competitors to greater 
effort, but caused the starting of a number of new wire factories 
in Germany. 

In America Washburn & Moen of Worcester have made very 
good piano wire since 1860. The American wire always had an 
exceedingly high polish, hardly ever attained by the European 
makers, but it often lacked the requisite density and necessary 
uniformity of tensile strength. 

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1. Official Test by the Jury of the World's Exhibition, Paris, 

Pleyel, Wolff & Company's testing machine used. 
MoRiTZ Poehlmann's wire Nos. 13 14 15 16 17 18 

broke at a strain of Lbs. 226 264 292 296 312 348 

English wires broke at a strain of. . ... 214 274 

2. Official Test by the Jury of the World's Exhibition, Vienna, 

MoRiTZ Poehlmann's wire Nos. 13 14 15 16 17 18 

broke at a strain of Lbs. 232 260 290 300 322 336 

Martin Miller & Sons' wire broke 

at a strain of 168 192 206 232 255 280 

3. Official Test by the Jury of the World's Exhibition, Phila- 
delphia, 1876. 

Steinway & Sons' testing machine used. 

Moritz Poehlmann's wire Nos. 13 14 15 16 17 18 

broke at a strain of Lbs. 265 287 320 331 342 386 

W. D. Houghton's wire broke at a 
strain of 231 242 253 287 331 374 

Smith & Son's wire broke at a 
strain of 221 242 242 287 320 331 

Washburn & Moen 's wire broke at 
strain of 176 ... 198 ... 242 ... 

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The records of the World's Fair at Chicago, 1893, show the 
following report of the test of Poehlmann's wire made by Judges 
Max Schiedmayer of Stuttgart and George Steck of New York : 

No. 13 Measuring .030 of an inch broke at a strain of 325 lbs. 

c, 14 ** .031 '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' 335 '' 

a J5 a 034 '' '' '' '' '* '' '' '' 350 '' 

a jg a 035 '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' 400 '' 

How successful Poehlmann has been in improving his product 
is best illustrated by the following table of tests, which shows the 
tensile strength at breaking point : 

Expositions— Wire No. 13 14 15 16 17 

Paris, 1867 226 264 292 312 348 

Vienna, 1873 232 261 291 300 336 

Philadelphia, 1876 265 287 320 331 342 

Chicago, 1893 325 335 350 400 415 

Since 1893 no authoritative tests are on record, but considering 
the severe tension to which the present-day piano maker exposes 
the wire, and as all the different brands of wire are used more or 
less, it will be admitted that Poehlmann 's efforts lifted the entire 
piano wire industry to its present high level, to the benefit of the 
piano trade. 

Development of the Piano Action Industry 

The very first auxiliary industry of the piano trade was un- 
doubtedly piano action making. Among the oldest firms in exist- 
ence at this date, we find first Brooks of London, who started his 
business in 1810. L. Isermann of Hamburg, (now merged with 
Langer & Company, of Berlin), began business in 1842. In the 
same year came Charles Gehrling of Paris, who was followed by 

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Schwander, in 1844. Morgenstern & Kotrade of Leipsic started in 
1846, Lexow of Berlin in 1854, and Fritz & Meyer, as well as Keller 
of Stuttgart, commenced business in 1857. 

In America F. W. Frickinger, a German who had learned the art 
at Paris, started an action factory at Albany, N. Y., in 1837, mov- 
ing later on to Nassau, N. Y. His son-in-law, Grubb, succeeded him 
and the business is now carried on under the firm name of Grubb & 
Kosegarten Brothers. 

George W. Seavems established his action factory at Cam- 
bridgeport, Mass., in 1851. 

In no department of piano manufacturing has the use of auto- 
matic machinery been so largely applied, to improve the product 
and lessen the cost, as in 
the making of piano ac- 
tions. In all well equipped 
action factories automatic 
machines are employed to 
fraise, mold, bore, also 
bush with cloth, or trim 
with leather, the various 
parts of the piano action. 
All of these machines 
work with positive pre- 
cision. Some machines, as, 
for instance, the hammer 
butt milling machines, are 
marvels of human ingenu- 
ity. This machine takes 
the wooden block, molded 
to the proper form, and 
by entirely automatic mo- 
tions turns out a perfectly George W. Seavema 

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finished butt. This economic way of producing actions has been 
made possible because of the fact that nearly all of the American 
piano makers use the same model, the only material difference 
being in the lengths of the pilots or tangents which connect the 
action with the key. 

Iron Plates, Pins, Etc. 

The casting, bronzing and pinning of the iron frames have kept 
pace in every way with the advancement of the piano. America, 
in particular, has for years produced the very best of castings, 
solid in grain, smooth in finish. The example set by Steinway & 
Sons, in their foundries at Steinway, Long Island, had a beneficial 
influence on all plate makers, whose customers demanded plates 
^* as good as Steinway 's." 

The progress in the science of metallurgy has aided the plate 
makers in obtaining the best blending of various ores, and breaking 
or cracking of plates is a trouble of the past. 

Even in this industry, automatic machinery begins to lessen the 
cost of production. The other metal parts in the piano, brass and 
nickel tubes for action rails, brass butts and flange rails, are manu- 
factured by specialists. The making of wrest or tuning pins 
is an industry which for over 60 years has been monopolized by 
a limited number of manufacturers in Westphalia. They have so 
far managed to retain this monopoly by making excellent pins at 
a price so low as not to invite competition. 

Very good tuning pins are now made in a factory near New 
York. Time will tell whether this enterprise can hold out against 
the low wages of Westphalia, because years ago the Westphalian 
manufacturers adopted the use of automatic machinery, which 
turns plain wire into a finished tuning pin, similar to the process 
of making screws. 

Of other materials, such as glue, varnish, etc., nothing need 
be said. They are products used long before pianos were made. 

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Development of the Playeb Piano, Morse, Vaucanson, Seytre, 
Bain, Pape, Foumeaux, McTammany, Gaily, Bishop & Downe, 
Kuster, Pain, Parker, White, Brown, Votey, Goolman, Ho- 
bart, Clark, Kelly, Klugh, Welin, Hupfeld, Welte, Young, 
Crooks, Dickinson, Danquard. 

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Development of the Player Piano 

A LL useful inventions are the product of evolution — the result 

/-^ of searching thought and creative ability. An idea may 

^^ "^ be born in one man's mind; the realization and utilization 

of the idea require, however, the co-operation of several minds, 

one improving upon the labors of the other. 

The player piano is still in its development, and many bright 
minds are devoted to the improvement of the instrument as we 
know it at present. Destined eventually to displace the piano as 
the musical instrument of the home, adequate financial reward 
beckons to the inventive genius who can accomplish the extraor- 
dinary. Aside from the financial aspect, the player problem has. 
some of that alluring attractiveness which tempts the ambitious- 
inventor to make his bid for fame, or at least to try to satisfy 
his own desire for the accomplishment of the ideal. 

The history of the player piano is in the making. While the 
fundamental idea is perhaps two hundred years old, the real 
development and practical application dates back only to the early 
seventies of the past century, and the most important improve- 
ments, those which made the player piano a commercial possibility, 
have been developed during the past twenty-five years. Indeed, 
we can look for ultimate perfection only from now on. 

It would be presumptuous to pass judgment or dispense honors 
for what has been achieved so far. Many an ingenious device of 
practical value to-day may prove to be only a stepping-stone for 


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greater achievements to-morrow, and thus soon become obsolete. 
The author has to confine himself, therefore, to a documentary 
description of what appear to be the most important inventions 
of the development of the player piano, in their chronological 
order, without attempting to discuss their merits or demerits, 
excepting those upon which final judgment has been passed by that 
infallible tribunal, the purchasing public. 

Inquiring into the origin of the player piano mechanism, we 
find that the idea of applying automatic attachments to keyed 
instruments engaged many of the harpsichord and pianoforte 
builders of the 17th and 18th centuries, as illustrated by their efforts 
to augment the scope of their instruments with orchestral effects, 
set in motion by pedals, swells, etc. Apparently the first successful 
attempt to play an instrument with a keyboard by a mechanical 
device was made in 1731 by Justinian Morse of England. He 
obtained a patent, in which he describes his invention as follows : 

'* A new organ with either diapason or the principal in front 
with one or more sets of keys, the bellows to go with either the 
feet or the hands, by which any person, though unskilled in musick, 
may be taught in an hour's time to play with great exactness and 
with their proper graces, either single or double, with preludes 
and interludes, all psalm tunes, fuges, volunteries, and anthems 
that are usually sung in churches or chappells,.or any other musick 
tho' never so difficult, or what length or compass soever, and that 
by this invention a fuller, thorough bass may be pla'd than can 
possibly be performed by the hands or fingers alone on the com- 
mon keys ; and this is performed entirely without vowls or barrels, 
and in a third part of the room, the musick being prickt on both 
sides of leaves or half -inch wainscot, eight or ten psalm tunes being 
contained on a board about the size of a large sheet of paper and 
may be worked by clockwork, jack or winch, and is made after a 
new method to play louder or softer by a division on the sound 
board; and that this organ may be made for a much lower price 

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than all others heretofore, and therefore will be very proper to 
be made use of in churches or chappells in small parishes that are 
unable or unwilling to be at the expense of the constant attendance 
of an organist, or in gentlemen's houses or in private familys/' 

It is to be regretted that no instrument answering the above 
description seems to be in existence, but, considering the severity 
of the patent laws of those days, it can hardly be doubted but that 
Morse constructed at least a working model according to his 

About 1740-50 Vaucanson, the celebrated automaton maker of 
Paris, reversed the construction of the cylinder used in automatic 
musical instruments of his time. Instead of projecting pegs, Vau- 
canson constructed a pierced cylinder for weaving flowered silks. 
This cylinder, according to the holes it. presented when revolved, 
regulated the movement of needles, causing the warp to deviate 
in such a manner as to produce a given design indicated by the 
holes in the cylinder. It is said that Vaucanson used this pierced 
cylinder also in musical instruments. 

Jacquard, of silk-loom fame, seized upon Vaucanson 's idea, and 
in 1802 added an endless piece of cardboard to the cylinder, per- 
forated with holes in accordance with the pattern intended to be 
woven. The perforated cardboard pattern of the Jacquard loom 
is in principle identical with the perforated music rolls of the 
present day. 

Seytre of France patented, in 1842, a musical instrument to 
which he applied Jacquard 's perforated cardboard. Bain of Scot- 
land patented a similar device in 1847, and that great piano maker, 
Henri Pape of Paris, tried his hand on the same thing in 1851. 
No instruments of these inventors are in existence, and it seems 
that neither invention had any practical or commercial value. 
They are mentioned here only as the next step in advance from 
the stiff perforated board to the flexible cardboard. 

In 1863 Fourneaux of Paris patented his pianista, a device 

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Fourneaux's Pianista 

which through pneumatics pressed '^ fingers " upon the piano keys 
as indicated by the perforated cardboards. This mechanism was 
exhibited at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876, and quite a num- 
ber of these machines have been sold. The machine, set in motion 
by a crank movement, could be attached to any piano, the fingers 
being placed over the piano keyboard, as in the later cabinet player. 
For unknown reasons this invention was not further developed, 
and became obsolete because of its limited possibilities and high 

About 1868 John McTammany constructed a mechanism for 
automatic playing of organs, substituting for the crank and per- 
forated cardboard of Fourneaux a foot-pedal action and narrow 
sheets of perforated flexible paper with winding and rewinding 

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j^^^ ^r^^T^.^^ ^^^^^^ 

Fourneaux's Pianista 

rolls. For this invention McTammany filed on September 7, 1876, 
a caveat with the following description: ^* The invention relates 
to an improved attachment to organs, so that any piece of music 
may be played in an automatic manner, in any key, on the same, 
and the invention consists of a mechanism worked by a fan from 
the bellows and by a strip of paper perforated to express musical 
notes, and it consists also of a transposing mechanism to play 
music in any desired key." The above language shows that the 
patent attorneys of those days were in the kindergarten class of 
player piano patent lingo as we read it to-day. 

In McTammany 's invention the action was inside the organ 
case, instead of being attached from the outside, as in Fourneaux's 
pianista. While broadly speaking the action was pneumatic, yet 

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it did not have individual 
pneumatics for each tone. 
The next important 
step in the development of 
the player mechanism was 
M^rritt Gaily 's device, 
patented in 1881. It cre- 
ated a sensation at the 
time, but has never been 
commercially exploited. 

Bishop & Downe of 
England were granted a 
patent for a keyboard at- 
tachment for musical in- 
struments in 1883. Per- 
haps for the reason that 
the mechanism had to be 
set in motion by turning 
a crank, precluding any 
exercise of individuality, this invention did not succeed com- 

In 1886 G. B. Kelly invented a wind motor with slide valves 
opening and closing ports to pneumatic motors. This form of 
motor was at once adopted, and, upon the expiration of the patent, 
came into general use in all the factories in the world. 

On May 14, 1886, Charles A. Kuster filed his application for 
a patent on a mechanical instrument, which was granted on April 
19, 1887. Kuster 's construction differed entirely from Bishop 
& Downe 's, as well as from Gaily 's. It seems, however, that 
Kuster did not know how to make his invention popular and to 
secure for it proper recognition. 

R. W. Pain is perhaps the first who constructed a pneumatic 
self-playing piano. In conjunction with Henry Kuster he built 

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Kf/t.. , -- ■■ L-J" l 


^,.J...:.:^^ h II 

i — p"-a#^'»t — \ 

John McTammany's Automatic Playing Organ, 1868 

such an instrument for Needham & Sons in 1880, having a compass 
of 39 notes. In 1882 he constructed for the Mechanical Orguinette 
Co. (which later on became the Aeolian Co.) an inside player with 
46 notes, and in 1888 he produced his 65-note electric player. 

On October 16, 1891, Wm. D. Parker of Meriden, Conn., in 
the employ of the Wilcox & White Company, made application 
for a patent on an automatic piano. The patent was granted 
March 8, 1892, for a combination piano adapted for either manual 

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Merritt Gally^s Player Mechanism, 1881 

or automatic operation, having a system of pneumatic operating 
mechanism controlled by a perforated music sheet. 

Suitable wind-inducing apparatus or motor, and such mech- 
anism, permanently introduced into the structure of the instru- 
ment, operating upon the rear ends of the manual keys, not 
interfering or preventing use of the piano for ordinary manual 
operation. This interior player mechanism was manufactured by 
the Wilcox & White Company of Meriden, and sold under the 
name of Angelus Piano Player to piano dealers in Boston, Phila- 

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Bishop & Downe's Keyboard Attachment, 1883 

George B. Kelly's Wind Motor with Slide Valves, 1886 

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^3® I 






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White and Parker's Ck)mbination Upright Piano and Reed Organ, 1895. (Fig. 3) 

delphia, etc., and the patent was assigned to and controlled by 
the Wilcox & White Company. 

On November 29, 1895, Edward H. White and Wm. D. Parker 
filed application for a patent, which was granted December 15, 
1896, for a combination of the automatic upright piano and reed 
organ. This ingenious invention did not prove a commercial suc- 
cess, mainly for the reason that the steel strings of the piano would 
not remain in tune with the reeds (which would remain in tune for 
years), and naturally on that account would not always blend with 
the tone produced in combination with each other. 

On July 27, 1897, Wm. D. Parker obtained patents for similar 
attachments for grand and square pianos. 

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White and Parker's Automatic Piano Player in Cabinet Form, 1897. (Fig. 1) 

Not meeting with the success anticipated in introducing this 
interior mechanism, White and Parker on April 5, 1897, filed an 
application for a patent for an automatic piano player in cabinet 
form, and which contained reeds and could be operated either as 
an automatic reed organ or as a keyboard instrument player. The 
patent was granted October 26, 1897. This cabinet could be moved 

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_s. ^ 

.^^^ J^^^. 




Fig. 2 




i i i » ■ i p > M i^T 

Fig. 3 
White and Parker's Cabinet Piano Player 

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up and on to any kind of a 
piano, whereby the fingers 
of the mechanism would 
stand upon the tops of the 
keys of the piano, similar 
to the fingers of the human 
hand. The general con- 
struction being practical 
and durable, the instru- 
ment found immediate 
favor with the public. 

After completing a 
number of pianos with P. 
J. Bailey's electric self- 
playing device, which did 
not prove a success, Theo- 
dore P. Brown of Worces- 
ter was granted patents 
for an interior player 
mechanism under dates of 
April 7, June 15, Decem- 
ber 7 and 14, 1897. The 
pianos containing this 
mechanism were marketed 
under the name of 
** Aeriol Pianos," and 
proved a commercial suc- 
cess. In 1898 Brown sold 
his patents to the Aeolian 
Company, and followed 
the example of the Wilcox 
& White Company in con- 
structing a cabinet player. 

Fig. 4 


Fig. 6 

Fig. 6 
White and Parker's Cabinet Piano Player 

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i .^--, 

J\;. :.'-tt-J|"'J 

a alia 

Fig. 7 

'Y ^ my 

v.v..vvvv^.vvvvv..vv.vvvvv.xvv v.v., 


nnnnnnnangonnnn n nQDnnonnnnnnnna 


«\\vvvt V ^ 


\\\ VVV^.^V'vVV'A'v \ V\VV\vVkVVVV g ^^ 







Figs. 8-12 
White and Parker's Cabinet Piano Player 

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.._.... . 

— •■;.-;■■'■^1 


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Theodore P. Brown's Interior Player, 1897 

known to the trade as the '* Simplex/' These cabinet players, 
now almost obsolete, curiously enough seemed to be preferred by 
the public to the player piano. The fear of the piano manufac- 
turers to add the player action to the complicated upright piano 
action, may, to a large extent, have been responsible for the tempo- 
rary popularity of the unsightly and unhandy cabinet player. This 
popularity was largely increased when Edwin S. Votey's pneu- 
matic piano attachment was put upon the market under the name 
of ** Pianola," and pushed by a most aggressive advertising cam- 
paign on the part of the manufacturers, the Aeolian Company of 
New York. Votey filed his application on January 25, 1897, and 
a patent was issued to him on May 22, 1900. 

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Figs. 1 and 2 

Figs. 3-5 
Melville Clark's Transposing Device, 1899 

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Figs. 1-4 
Melville Clark's Transposing Device, 1902 

Comparing the drawings of the White-Parker and Votey 
patents, it is obvious at first glance that the three inventors 
worked, although at the same time, on entirely different lines to 
accomplish their object. 

From 1898 to 1906 many patents, too numerous to mention, 
were granted for improvements in player mechanism. Among 
them are Melville Clark's transposing device, patented on May 
30, 1899, and September 30, 1902, which has been adopted by many 
manufacturers of player pianos. 

In 1898 F. Engelhardt & Sons commenced to make their 
'* Harmonist '' player, having acquired the patents granted to 
F. E. Goolman, on February 1 and April 26, 1898. Their '' Peer- 
less Piano Player,'' a coin-operated electric pneumatic instrument, 
was also placed on the market in the same year. This firm controls 

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F. R. Goolman's Harmonist Player, 1898 

Paul B. Klugh's Auxiliary Key, 1906 

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A. J. Hobart's Endless Tune Sheet, 1908 

the patent granted to A. J. Hobart, on July 7, 1908, for an endless 
perforated tune sheet, each sheet containing five or more selections. 

All player actions prior to 1898 were so constructed that they 
played only 65 notes of the 88 of the piano scale. This necessi- 
tated the rearrangement (often mutilation) of modern composi- 
tions written for 88 notes. 

Melville Clark introduced in 1901 his '* Apollo '' player with an 
88-note tracker board, an innovation which has been adopted by 
most player manufacturers for the good of the instrument. 

Thomas Danquard obtained a patent, on August 2, 1904, for 
a device called the flexible finger, by means of which the wippen 
of the piano action is attacked direct, eliminating thereby the 

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harshness of contact and imparting 
elasticity without interfering with the 
function of the piano action. 

To overcome the objectionable 
stiffness- of the interior player action, 
Melville Clark patented on August 1, 
1905, and in March, 1907, a construc- 
tion by which the stroke button is 
placed in front of the fulcrum of the 
piano key. Paul B. Klugh obtained on 
October 9, 1906, a patent for an aux- 
iliary key, with the same object in 

Peter Welin was granted a number 
of patents on applications beginning 
May 1, 1902, for interior player 
mechanism, in which every pneumatic 
can be independently removed or ad- 
justed. This mechanism is used by the Auto Grand Piano Com- 
pany, which acquired the Welin patents ; also by Broadwood & Sons 
of London, under protection of English patents granted to Welin. 

In Germany, about the year 1887, Paul Ehrlich patented his 
** Ariston " mechanism, which played 36 notes. This was soon 
improved by Ludwig Hupfeld by a device controlling 61 notes. 
The mechanism could be inserted into an upright piano and set 
in motion by a crank movement or electric motor. In 1889 Hup- 
feld created a new type of player with 76 notes. None of these 
mechanisms had pneumatics. The '* Phonola," placed on the 
market in 1902, containing pneumatics, had originally a compass 
of 72 notes, but it has now been changed to 88 notes. 

For the better control of piano or forte playing independently 
in bass or treble, the power-producing bellows of the Phonola is 
divided into two sections, as shown in illustration. 

Thomas Danquard's Flexible 
Finger Mechanism, 1904 

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Peter VVelin's Individual Valve System, 1902 

Through an ingenious connection of a special pneumatic with 
the hammer rail, the Phonola mechanism gives the performer an 
opportunity for most delicate shading in pianissimo playing, by 
simply exercising more or less pressure upon the pedals. 

The latest product of the Hupfeld factories is called the '* Dea," 
a self-playing device which reproduces the playing of virtuosos 
through an arrangement of the music rolls. 

The Dea and the '' Welte Mignon " may justly be called the ne 
plus ultra of player development for purely mechanical expression, 
because they reproduce the individual interpretations of the most 
renowned pianists with all the accentuation and expression in its 
finest, most subtle nuances. These artistic players will ever be a 
most valuable assistant to the piano teacher, aiding him in instruct- 
ing his pupils as to how great artists interpret the compositions of 
the masters. They are furthermore of inestimable value in record- 

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Fig. 1 
Ludwig Hupfeld'a Phonola Player, 1902 

ing for posterity the wonderful playing of a Joseflfy, Rosenthal, De 
Pachman, Busoni and other virtuosos. 

However, the music-loving amateur requires the pleasure of his 
own interpretation, the only real pleasure anyone can get out of a 
piano. We have at present the *' Metrostyle," invented by F. L. 
Young in 1901, enabling the amateur to follow the intention of the 
composer as to the proper metronomic rendering of his com- 
position; the ** Themodist," invented by J. W. Crooks in 1900; 
the '* Phrasing Lever,'' patented in 1903 by Haywood; the *' Tem- 
ponome," invented by Danquard and Keeley in 1911; the ** Arti- 
style " markings for the music rolls, indicating both tempo and 

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Hupfeld*s Phonola Player. Fig. 2 


Figs. 3 and 4 
Hupfeld's Phonola Player, Showing Divided Bellows for Bass and Treble Section 

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volume of tone, invented by P. K. Van Yorx; besides the many in- 
genious improvements of Kelly, Dickinson and other inventors, 
whose fertile brains are continually engaged in making player- 
piano history by improving and simplifying the mechanism of to- 

As time passes on, the beauty and scope of the player piano 
will be appreciated in the same ratio as people learn to perform 
upon it properly. Teachers must be trained to give instructions 
on the player piano just as manual piano playing is taught at 
present. It not only requires practice, but earnest and intelligent 
study to learn the use of the expression and accentuating devices, 
and more especially to master the pedaling, because, after all, the 
secret of proper shading and phrasing in rendering a composition 
depends mainly upon the artistic use of the pedals. The '' touch," 
this all-controlling factor in producing the various shades of tone 
on the piano, is controlled by the pedals almost entirely. 

The player piano is the musical instrument for the home of 
the future, barring all others, and the growth of the player in- 
dustry depends entirely upon the activity and enterprise of the 
player manufacturers. The instrument is as yet in its infancy. 
Eventually a player piano will be evolved with an action which 
will be capable of producing the long-sought-for effects of tone 
sustaining, losing its mechanical character entirely, and thus be- 
coming the superior of the present-day piano, as that instrument 
has superseded the clavichord. Why should not the player piano 
finally be so constructed as to produce the powerful piano tone 
blended with the soulful tone of the clavichord? 

The possibilities of improving the player action together with 
the piano action can hardly be estimated. Sufficient has been done 
to show that the player piano of the future will be a musical 
instrument par excellence. 

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Keelej-Danquard Temponome, 1911 

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Commercial Development of the Piano Industry 


Italy, Christofori, Fischer, Sievers, Roseler, Mola. 

Germany, Silbermann, Stein, Nannette Stein, Streicher, Schied- 
mayer, Ibach, Ritmiiller, Rosenkrantz, Irmler, Breitkopf & 
Hartel, Bliithner. 

France, Erard, Pleyel, Herz, Gaveau, Bord. 

England, Tschudi, Broadwood, Kirkman, Zumpe, CoUard, Brins- 
mead, Hopkinson. 

America, Chickering, MacKay, Nunns & Clark, Gilbert, Steinway. 

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History of the Commercial Development of the Piano Industry 

IT is difficult to make a piano, but much more difficult to sell 
it. The craft of piano making did not evolve into an industry 
until the commercial genius joined hands with the craftsman. 
It requires the lofty genius of an artist and the methodical genius 
of the mechanician to design and build a piano, but mercantile 
genius of the highest order is necessary to market this art product 
in such a manner as to assure for it its proper position in the 
marts of the world. 

To achieve lasting success in the piano industry of to-day, 
a combination of artistic and commercial ability of the highest 
order has become a positive necessity. The piano, not a necessity, 
but a vehicle for expression of one of the high arts, appeals only 
to people of culture and refinement. Consequently the piano in- 
dustry can thrive only in countries where wealth is accumulating. 
It will prosper in proportion as a country's wealth increases, and 
decline when a country's resources are declining. 

In its early struggles for existence, the piano had to depend 
upon the protection of kings and princes. Schroter could not 
build his piano because he did not command sufficient influence to 
obtain financial aid from his king. 


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It is not to be wondered that Italy and the Netherlands pro- 
duced those beautiful, artistic spinets, clavichords and harpsi- 
chords, enshrined in most artistic cases, embellished with rich 
carvings, or like the clavichords of Hans Ruckers, with paintings 
of the great Flemish masters of those days. Both the Netherlands 
and Italy were then at the zenith of their commercial supremacy, 
their ships bringing riches from all parts of the globe. This great 
accumulation of wealth brought about the age of Renaissance in 
Italy. The enormously rich nobility and the wealthy burghers 
generously supported Michael Angelo, Raphael, Da Vinci and their 
contemporaries, encouraging the creation of their master works 
by most liberal contributions and the bestowal of honors. 

Together with architecture, sculpture, painting and literature, 
the culture of music was revived, and we find at the end of the 
17th century Bartolomo Christof ori comfortably placed as musical- 
instrument maker to the Duke of Tuscany. The ever-open purse 
of the Duke permitted Christofori to pursue his studies and 
experiments in developing the pianoforte, while engaged in making 
spinets, harpsichords, lutes, etc., for the courtiers of the Duke. 
It was a proud moment for Christofori and the Duke when the 
latter could show to his court the great invention of Christofori. 
However, as the proud Italian noblemen of that period eschewed 
the idea of commercializing the creations of their artists, not 
many pianofortes were built by Christofori. Nor were the condi- 
tions favorable for an immediate exploitation of the invention. 
Italy's trade was chiefly with the Orient, where pianofortes could 
not be sold. The larger cities of Europe nearly all had clavichord 
makers of their own, and the overland transportation of so large 
an instrument was very costly and slow. 

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There is no doubt, however, that the King of Saxony came into 
the possession of a Christofori pianoforte at an early date, which 
Silbermann copied, thus making any further sales of Christofori 
or other Italian pianofortes impossible north of the Alps. We, 
therefore, hear very little of piano making in Italy at that time, 
except for home consumption. 

About the middle of the 19th century the piano industry of 
Italy took a new start. Fischer of Vienna had started a factory 
at Naples, followed by the renowned Sievers of St. Petersburg, and 
later on by Roseler of Berlin, who established himself at Turin. 
Koseler was so successful that he soon found many followers, so 
that Turin boasts to-day of having 15 well-equipped piano fac- 
tories, of which the establishment of Mola is the largest, producing 
about 4,000 pianos, harmoniums and church organs per annum. 
No doubt Italy produces more barrel and pneumatic street pianos 
than any other country, but these noisy instruments are only 
intended to amuse children on the public highways and cannot be 
classed with pianos. 


Accepting Gottfried Silbermann of Freiberg as the father of 
the piano industry of Germany, we have to admit that, besides 
being a good organ builder and piano maker, he also was a very 
shrewd business man. Not only had he the good sense to copy 
the Christofori piano in toto, after Johann Sebastian Bach had 
condemned Silbermann 's own creation in unmeasured terms, but 
he finally induced old Bach to indorse his Christofori copy and 
cleverly managed to sell to Frederick the Great seven of those 
instruments at the extravagant price of 700 thalers (about $500) 
for each instrument. Considering the purchasing power of money 

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at that time, it is reasonable to assume that Silbermann received 
at least five times the amount of the actual cost of the instruments. 

Saxony remained for a long time the center of piano making in 
Germany, and from the shops of Silbermann came nearly all the 
pioneers who spread the industry over the continent of Europe 
and Great Britain. The so-called 12 apostles (12 German piano 
makers), who landed in London about 1760, were nearly all Sil- 
bermann pupils, and became the pioneers of the English piano 
industry. Among them were Zumpe, Backers (Becker), Geib and 
others, whose names later on appeared in the London city directory 
as pianoforte makers. 

Johann Andreas Stein, undoubtedly the most talented of Sil- 
bermann 's pupils, went to Augsburg and made his first piano in 
1768. His daughter Nannette, with her husband, Johann Andreas 
Streicher, later on moved to Vienna, founding the ** Vienna 
school " of piano makers. Balthasar Schiedmayer made his first 
piano at Erlangen in 1735. Johann David Schiedmayer continued 
the business at Nuremberg, and his son Lorenz moved to Stuttgart 
in 1809, where he became the founder of the *' Stuttgart school." 
Next we hear of Johannes Adolf Ibach, who started near Barmen 
in 1794. Andreas Georg Ritmiiller commenced business at 
Gottingen in 1795, and Ernst Rosenkrantz at Dresden in 1797. 

From that period on piano making increased rapidly in Ger- 
many, makers locating chiefly in the residence cities of the many 
principalities of those days, because the courts of the potentates 
were about the only customers a piano maker could then look for. 
Commercial methods were entirely unknown. A piano maker 
would build his piano and then quietly await a customer. To 
advertise a piano for sale would have been considered an unpar- 
donable sin against the ethics of the craft. It required the revo- 
lutionary nerve of the pathfinders after the middle of the 19th 
century to brush away that prejudice. Just as soon as the 

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industry began to develop in the commercial atmosphere of Leipsic, 
Berlin and Stuttgart, the piano makers of Germany commenced to 
make efTorts to sell their products outside of their own bailiwicks. 
Vienna looked askance at this new movement, and consequently has 
hardly held its own in the onward march of the industry. 

Julius Bliithner of Leipsic made good use of the opportunity 
which that great school, the Conservatory of Music, offered. 
Young people from all parts of the globe came to that school to be 
instructed by Moscheles, Plaidy, Wenzel, Reinecke and others, 
to go out into the world as teachers or virtuosos. They studied 
on Bluthner pianos during their sojourn at Leipsic, and sang the 
praise of the Bluthner piano wherever they went. Nor did 
Bluthner ever spare printer's ink in order to tell the world what 
fine pianos he was building, to the great horror of the old-school 
piano makers. He sent his pianos to the world's expositions and 
carried off prize medals for showing something new or better than 
the conventional. 

The old renowned firms of Irmler, Breitkopf & Hartel of 
Leipsic and the Dresden and Stuttgart makers looked on for quite 
a while, satisfied with the steady home trade and their profitable 
export trade (mainly to North America), but, when their export 
business was absorbed by the American makers and their active 
German competitors invaded their home territories, they quickly 
adopted the same aggressive policy, keeping pace with the most 
advanced ideas and business tactics. 

This persistent propaganda by all the leading firms made the 
piano very popular, and the demand increased in proportion. The 
use of labor-saving machinery was introduced by all leading firms. 
Establishments for the manufacture of supplies sprang up 
at all piano-manufacturing centers, and soon the piano ** com- 
piler " appeared, at first in Berlin, later on to be found every- 

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Export merchants saw the possibilities of using the German 
piano for successful competition against the English make in 
foreign countries, and a lively export trade was soon estab- 
lished. Piano dealers became active in every city, town and hamlet. 
At the present time almost every schoolteacher in the villages of 
Germany is the agent for one or more piano makers. 

The practice of ** peddling '' pianos — that is, to load a piano 
on to a wagon, going out to the country with it, looking for a pos- 
sible customer — ^was first resorted to by Berlin makers of low- 
priced pianos about 1866. It is now generally practiced in 

After 1873 Germany started upon a wonderful career of in- 
dustrial revival. That far-seeing statesman, Bismarck, not only 
inaugurated the beneficial policy of protection for the home market, 
by putting duties on foreign-made goods, but he also organized a 
splendid consular service, making each consul a servant of German 
commerce and industry. Furthermore, he subsidized the merchant 
marine and cheapened transportation on land, all in order to 
enable the German manufacturer to gain a foreign trade. How 
effectually the German piano trade has made use of these advan- 
tages is illustrated by the fact that over 20,000 pianos were shipped 
from Germany to England alone during 1909. Considering that 
up to 1860 England was leading the world in the production of 
pianos, this fact speaks volumes for the enterprise of the German 
piano manufacturers and the quality of their product. 

German pianos to-day dominate all foreign markets, excepting, 
of course, North America, not on account of low prices, but mainly 
because of the advanced commercial methods followed by the 
German manufacturer and merchant, who is ever willing to accom- 
modate himself to the demands of his customers, meeting the 
buyer's peculiar taste for style and tone of the piano and also 
his methods of transacting business. 

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Germany has to-day about 300 piano factories, some of them pro- 
ducing from 3,000 to 7,000 pianos per year. The total output of all 
factories is estimated at about 170,000 pianos annually. Spain has 
about 20 piano factories. The firm of Ortiz & Cusso of Barcelona 
turn out 1,000 pianos annually. The total production of Spain 
is estimated at 2,500 pianos per year, of which a considerable 
number are exported to South America. Scandinavia, Belgium, 
Holland and Switzerland are no factors in the world's piano mar- 
kets. Good pianos are made at Copenhagen, Stockholm and Chris- 
tiania, as well as at Brussels and The Hague, at Zurich and Bern, 
mostly for home consumption, however. Belgium has 16 piano 
factories; Switzerland, 12; Holland, 6; Scandinavia, 40; mostly 
small shops with a production of from 50 to 100 pianos per year. 
The total annual production of these countries probably does not 
exceed from 6,000 to 8,000 pianos. 


Although Paris (which means France) was, up to 1851, far in 
the lead of Germany, it appears to be retrogressing, because of 
its overproud conservatism. It seems difficult for the leading Paris 
makers to realize that Germany and America are producing pianos 
far better adapted to the modem school of piano playing and com- 
position than the sweet-toned instruments which dominated the 
concert halls in Chopin's days. The home of the Erard, Pleyel, 
Herz and Gaveau piano can show only 35 establishments where 
pianos are manufactured, all together scarcely reaching an output 
of 25,000 per annum. Antoine Bord in his best days turned out 
as many as 4,000 pianos (mostly small uprights) per year, but even 
this formerly enterprising concern seems now to be content to 
rest on its laurels. The firm of Pleyel, Lyon & Company turns out 
about 3,500 pianos per year, one-seventh of the total production of 

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When Johannes Zumpe went from Silbermann's shop to Lon- 
don in 1760, it seems that he was at once infected with the com- 
mercial bacteria, rampant in that greatest commercial and financial 
center of the world. No one holds the title to the name ** father of 
the conmaercial piano '' so indisputably as that industrious Ger- 
man. He found the aristocratic Tschudi, Broadwood, Kirkman 
and others making high-priced harpsichords, and later on equally 
costly grand pianos, and quickly decided to build a piano at a 
price within reach of the well-to-do middle class. To reduce cost, 
he simplified the Christofori action, adopted the square form of 
the clavichord and thus was first in putting upon the market a 
square piano at a moderate price. This piano, although without 
merit, either as to workmanship or tone, filled a long-felt want, 
and Zumpe amassed a fortune within a comparatively short 
time, upon which he retired at an early age. Kirkman, 
landing in London in 1740 as Jacob Kirchmann, a German harp- 
sichord maker, was even more successful than Zumpe. He 
left an estate valued at about $1,000,000 when he died in 

The financial successes of Kirkman, Zumpe, Broadwood and 
others attracted capital to the industry, and London became the 
birthplace of the modern piano factory, where steam-driven ma- 
chines were employed. London piano manufacturers utilized cir- 
cular saws, planing machines, etc., as early as 1815. In the days 
before the steam railroads, London was an ideal place for piano 
manufacturers. Not only did they control a fine home market, 
among the great landowners, rich merchants and manufacturers, 
but they also had absolute control of the export business to foreign 
countries by reason of England's supremacy of the seas. It is 

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reported that in 1851 London had 180 firms, which produced 25,000 
pianos a year, at a value of $4,000,000. 

In about 1860 London had reached its zenith as the leading piano 
manufacturing center. Edgar Brinsmead, in his book published 
in 1870, claims an output of about 35,000 pianos per annum for 
England. Since that time Germany has not only captured most 
of England's export trade, but is sending to England direct not 
less than 20,000 pianos every year, while the total production of 
Great Britain hardly exceeds 75,000 pianos a year. The main 
cause of this state of affairs is undoubtedly the conservatism with 
which the English manufacturers, like .the French, have clung to 
their old models and methods. Up to 1860 the piano makers of 
Germany looked to London and Paris for new ideas and improve- 
ments in construction and making. With modifications of their 
own, they adopted the English and French models and used Eng- 
lish and French felt, wires and actions in their pianos. After the 
Paris exposition of 1867, Germany adopted the American system 
of piano construction, made its own wires, felts and actions, and, as 
a result, soon dominated over England and France in the world's 

London is now credited with 126 piano factories, still led by 
the revered names of Broadwood, CoUard, Brinsmead, Hopkinson 
and others, who for so many years gave luster to the English 
piano's reputation. 

Broadwood & Sons have lately adopted a progressive policy 
as of old, using in their new factory all known modern improve- 
ments, and with characteristic foresight are again in the lead as 
the only London firm who manufacture every part of their player 
pianos in their own factories. It is possible that the English piano 
industry under Broadwood 's lead may retrieve its lost prestige 
by an energetic development of the player piano, which is destined 
to be the controlling factor in the piano industry of the future. 

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Yet the prevailing economic policy of the British Government is 
a great handicap for the English manufacturer, making it impos- 
sible for him to even control his own home market, as is done by 
the manufacturers of all other countries. 


North America, the new world, presented entirely diflferent 
conditions to the piano industry than the old world. Although 
without nobility or aristocracy, its natural resources produced 
wealth at such a rapid pace that even in its early days the piano 
industry of America was very lucrative. In 1860 we find mam- 
moth piano factories in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Phila- 
delphia rivaling in every respect the old renowned establishments 
of London. 

That excellent piano maker and inventor, Jonas Chickering, 
had the good sense to associate himself, in 1830, with John Macr^ 
Kay, an enterprising commercial genius, who spread the fame of 
the Chickering piano over the entire United States as it was then 
known. At the World's Fair, London, in 1851, Chickering ex- 
hibited the first American pianos shown in Europe, and carried 
off the highest honors. Meyer of Philadelphia, Nunns & Clark of 
New York and Gilbert & Company of Boston were also represented 
at that exposition, all of them making creditable exhibits. After 
the death of his partner, MacKay, Chickering, being far in the 
lead of all other American piano manufacturers, did not continue 
the aggressive business policy inaugurated by MacKay, and lack- 
ing an inspiring leader, the industry progressed very slowly from 
1840 to 1855, when Steinway & Sons appeared. Their methods of 
persistent publicity were as revolutionary as those later on adopted 
by Bliithner in Germany. They never relaxed in letting the public 

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know that they manufactured a fine piano. William Steinway, 
with far-seeing judgment, was not satisfied only to use printer's 
ink with telling effect, but he also began to educate the public to 
appreciate good music. Steinway Hall was erected, the Theo- 
dore Thomas orchestra generously supported and the greatest 
piano virtuosos from Rubinstein to Joseffy engaged for con- 
certs, not only in New York but in all large cities of the United 
States and Canada. 

Chickering & Sons followed Steinway 's example and erected 
Chickering Hall in New York, also one in Boston. Knabe, Weber 
and Steck also engaged great soloists for concert work in all lead- 
ing cities, creating a popularity for the piano in proportion to the 
growth of wealth in the United States. 

Official statistics show that during 1869 the United States 
produced about 25,000 pianos at a value of $7,000,000,— $3,000,- 
000 more than London received for the same number of pianos in 
1851. The output for 1910 is estimated at 350,000 pianos, valued 
at about $100,000,000. 

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The Commebcial Piano, Joseph P, Hale. 

The Stencil, Depabtment Stobes, Consolidations. 

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The Commercial Piano 

UP to this time nearly all the pianos were manufactured hy- 
men who were expert piano makers. Excepting William 
Steinway and Alhert Weher, all the piano makers of those 
days were more superior as craftsmen than as business man, valu- 
ing glory as piano constructors higher than financial success. 
About 1870 Joseph P. Hale, one of America's typical self-made 
men, came to New York from Worcester, Mass., where he had 
accumulated a fortune of $35,000 in the crockery trade. Looking 
about for an opportunity to invest his money in an active busi- 
ness, he bought an interest in the Grovesteen piano factory. After 
a short period he severed this connection and started a piano 
factory on his own account. 

With the eminently practical trading instinct of the Yankee, 
Hale looked upon the piano as a strictly commercial proposition. 
Without the remotest knowledge of music, tone or theory of piano 
construction, utterly without patience for scientific experiments, he 
dissected the piano, figuring the cost of case, plate, action, labor, 
varnish and other material, with one point in view — ^how he could 
reduce the cost of the piano. He inaugurated a system of manu- 
facturing and merchandising heretofore unknown to the American 
piano trade. Hale is, beyond question, the father of the *^ com- 
mercial '' piano of America, and has done splendid pioneer work 
in his sphere, to the benefit of the entire trade. Unhampered by 


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tradition or prejudice of 
any kind, he manufactured 
pianos as he would have 
manufactured bedsteads. 
A genius as an organizer, 
he carried the division of 
labor to the last point, so 
that he could reduce his 
labor cost to less than half 
of what his competitors 
paid. Buying his cases, 
keys, actions, etc., from 
specialists at bottom prices, 
for cash on delivery, he was 
not obliged to carry a big 
. — - .^.^.^^ ^^ . -,^^ , stock of lumber or other 

Joseph P. Hale material. Even when his 

output had reached the at 
that time imposing number of 100 pianos per week, he would not 
carry more than one week's supply of stock on hand. 

It will be readily understood that Hale could sell his pianos 
far below the cost price of a high-grade piano and still make a good 
profit. These revolutionary methods caused bitter antagonism on 
the part of his competitors of the old school. Hale went on with 
his business complacently, and argued that the makers of high- 
class pianos were all wrong in antagonizing him, because, by his 
low price, he was bringing the piano within the reach of the work- 
ing classes. Once introduced there, out of each 10 buyers of his 
cheap pianos, at least one would develop within 10 years into a 
good piano player, who would then not be satisfied until he pos- 
sessed a high-class instrument. 

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Hale's prophecy has come true. The number of firms making 
commercial pianos increased steadily, but so did the output of 
the makers of high-class pianos, and to their list names like Bald- 
win, Mason & Hamlin, Everett, Conover and many other makers 
of fine concert grands have since been added. Hale and his fol- 
lowers made it possible for the dealer, especially in the rapidly- 
growing western States, to market large numbers of pianos among 
the farmers, artisans, etc. — tenfold more than would have been 
possible if they had been restricted to the sale of high-class 
makes only. 

Hale was the first American piano manufacturer who discarded 
the agency system. His goods were for sale to anybody, anywhere, 
as long as the buyer was able to pay for the same. To avoid clash- 
ing among his own dealers, he started the stencil system. He would 
stencil his pianos with any name desired by the buyer, which the 
law permitted. Thus the dealer, especially the big jobber of the 
west, commenced to sell some pianos with his own name on the 
fallboard, or even cast into or screwed on to the iron plate. In 
time the western jobber began to see that he might save that great 
item of freight from New York or Boston to Chicago by manu- 
facturing his own goods at home, and about the year 1880 the first 
factories were started in Chicago. Cincinnati soon followed, and 
to-day the western factories produce nearly half of the pianos 
made in the United States. 

The tremendous increase of output, from 25,000 pianos in 1869 
to 350,000 in 1910, was only made possible through the educational, 
artistic and advertising propaganda by the makers of high-grade 
pianos on the one hand, and the aggressive selling methods of the 
makers of commercial pianos on the other. Many of the large 
western houses own and successfully run factories in which pianos 
of the highest grade are made, as well as factories turning out 
commercial pianos by the thousands. 

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The much-abused and scandalized stencil has been legitima- 
tized, inasmuch as many manufacturing concerns trade-mark one 
or more names other than their firm name, and use such trade- 
mark names for specific pianos made in factories built especially 
for this purpose. Again, dealers often obtain a trade-mark for 
a certain name, which they use on pianos built especially for them, 
all of which is now considered quite proper apd accepted by uni- 
versal usage. 

Department Stores 

While the manufacturing of a large number of pianos has 
become a comparatively easy matter, being merely a matter of 
factory space, machinery, system and proper organization, the 
distribution of the manufactured goods is becoming a more and 
more vexing problem. The general demand has of late years 
impelled some of the leading department stores in the large cities 
to add pianos to their list of commodities. In these stores the 
one-price system has been introduced with more or less success. 
The so-called mail-order houses are also distributing pianos, and 
it appears as if the small dealer will eventually have to quit the 
field, unless he is strongly supported by the manufacturer. The 
keen competition has induced some of the larger manufacturing 
concerns to become their own distributors, having salesrooms in 
most of the leading cities. 


Several large manufacturers of high-grade pianos have found 
it to their interest to combine with large concerns having a supe- 
rior selling organization, like Weber and Steck, who joined the 
Aeolian Company, or with large manufacturers of commercial 

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pianos, as in the case of the American Piano Company, a combi- 
nation of Chickering & Sons, Knabe & Company and Foster, 
Armstrong & Company, whose combined output per year is over 
15,000 pianos of all grades. There are a number of concerns in the 
middle west whose annual individual output exceeds 10,000 pianos, 
while a production of from 3,000 to 5,000 pianos per year is at 
present rather the minimum for up-to-date firms. It is, perhaps, 
safe to say that each of the three largest western manufacturing 
firms turns out nearly 20,000 pianos per year, or together more 
than twice as much as the production of the entire United States 
in 1869. 

How profitable large production coupled with independent dis- 
tribution can be made is best illustrated by the fact that a Chicago 
house managed to sell 60,000 pianos of one style or pattern. What 
economy in manufacturing may be practiced in making such an 
immense number of pianos of one kind! 

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The Art Piano, Geronimo, Trasunti, Hans Ruckers, Shudi, Broad- 
wood, Sir Alma Tadema, Steinway, Marquandt, Norman, Sir 
Edward Poynter, Theodore Roosevelt, Denning, Bosendorfer, 
Empress Elizabeth, Ibach's Jubilee Grand, Baldwin, Barnhorn, 
Guest, Bliithner, Erard, Pleyel, Lyon & Co., Chickering^s 
Louis XIV Grand, Everett's Sheraton Grand, Samuel Hay- 
ward, Knahe's *' Nouveau Art " Grand, Weber's Louis XIV 

The Pedal Piano, Schone, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Pleyel, Erard, 
Pfeiffer, Henry F. Miller. 

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Art Pianos 

A KT is described as the ''harmonious beautiful." An 

Z-^ artist must therefore not only have a highly developed 

•^ ■^* sense of truth, the grand, noble and beautiful, but also 

the ability to give form to his ideals in an absolutely pleasing 


Piano making has not as yet been developed to a positive 
science with fundamental laws, but it has ever been an art, calling 
for a familiarity on the part of the piano constructor with all of 
the liberal arts, more particularly music, architecture, sculpture 
and painting. An inborn talent for music is the first requisite of 
an artistic piano maker. His sense of harmony must be acute, so 
that he may distinguish the finest shadings in tone color. He must 
be capable of mentally hearing the klangfarhe which he desires, 
to impart to his piano, or create in it. He draws his scale irre- 
spective of form or size, because so far he only seeks to produce 
tone. After succeeding in getting the tone quality and quantity 
he desires, he begins to construct the frame and casing of his 
piano, for which a knowledge of architecture and talent for de- 
signing are imperative. He next calls on the sculptor for plastic 
decoration, and on the painter for higher embellishment by 
appropriate pictures to finally achieve the harmonious beautiful. 


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Art is a passionate expression of ideal conception and develops 
only after a nation has accumulated sufficient wealth to enable 
some of its higher intellects to devote themselves to art and science 
without regard to financial reward. The true artist dreams, thinks 
and works for art's sake only. He is altogether too sensitive for 
barter and trade, and needs the freedom of financial independence, 
the enjoyment of luxuries and the inspiration of the beautiful as 
a necessary stimulant and requisite. 

The first art pianos were constructed by the early Italian 
makers. After Geronimo had invented his wing-formed harpsi- 
chord, he embellished the outer case of the same with artistic carv- 
ings, as shown on the instrument of his make at the South Ken- 
sington Museum in London. Alessandro Trasunti and other 
Italian makers improved greatly on Geronimo 's efforts and built 
special cases detachable from the body of the instrument. These 
cases were decorated with exquisite carvings, embellished with 
inlaid ivory designs and often with pictures painted by masters. 

That celebrated maker, Hans Ruckers of Antwerp, called on 
his friends among the great Flemish painters to enhance the 
beauty and value of his harpsichords by painting pictures upon 
them. Indeed, his connection with the artists was so intimate that 
he, as well as his son and his nephew, were elected members of 
the *' Painters Guild, of St. Luke." Many specimens of the old 
Italian and Flemish school are to be found in the collection of 
old instruments of Paul De Wit of Leipsic, Wilhelm Heyer of Co- 
logne, Morris Steinert of New Haven, the Kensington Museum of 
London and the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg. The paintings 
upon many of these instruments oftentimes represent a value 
much greater than that of the piano alone. 

Cost is never considered in the building of an art piano. The 
designer and executing artists are given full liberty to work out 
their ideas in accordance with the desired style. Burkat Shudi 

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built for Frederick the Great a highly decorated harpsichord, for 
which he received one thousand dollars, an enormous amount, con- 
sidering the money value of those days; his successors, John 
Broadwood & Sons, not long ago built for Sir Alma Tadema an 
art grand costing many thousand dollars. In richness of design 
and brilliancy of execution this instrument is unique. The art 
grand of Erard is an exquisite specimen of that artistry so pecu- 
liar to French genius and handicraft when unlimited freedom is 
given to fantasy, regardless of cost. Mr. Marquandt of New York 
is said to have paid forty thousand dollars for an art grand piano 
built by Steinway & Sons, after special design of Sir Alma Tadema. 
Johnston Norman of London executed the embellishments under 
Sir Alma's personal direction and Sir Edward Poynter painted 
his picture, *' The Wandering Minstrels," upon the lid. It took 
fully five years to finish this marvel of combined arts. 

At the White House in Washington, D. C, is the one-hundred- 
thousandth piano built in the factories of Steinway & Sons. It 
was presented by that firm to President Roosevelt, for the Ameri- 
can people. The designs, models and decorations for this piano 
are the combined work of the most noted sculptors and architects 
of America. The painting is by Thomas W. Denning. The total 
cost of the piano was about $20,000. 

Ludwig Bosendorfer furnished the Empress Elizabeth of 
Austria with an art grand, in the decoration of which the sculp- 
tor's art predominates to an overwhelming degree, showing a 
most masterly treatment of wood in its highest capacity for the 
display of artistic genius. In contrast to the above we have Rudolf 
Ibach Sohn's Jubilee grand, being the fifty-thousandth production 
of his factories. Its graceful lines and chaste decorations are 
eminently pleasing and restful. 

The house of Ibach has been in the front rank in the propa- 
ganda for artistry in piano case designing, and their ** Memorial," 

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published in 1894, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding 
of their firm, ought to be in the hands of every studious piano 
maker. It contains a most excellent collection of designs, many 
of which would have a place in this work, if space permitted. 

That there are no limitations to the artistes desires or inclina- 
tions in designing and embellishing piano cases is shown in the 
Baldwin art grand. The realistic tendency of the modem school 
is depicted in a masterly manner in the sculpturing of Mr. C. T. 
Barnhorn, also in the general design of the case by Mr. I. H. Guest, 
both of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bliithner art grand is impressive 
because of the severity of the design, an example of the dominat- 
ing boldness of the '* new school." 

The Weber Piano Company has made the building of art 
pianos a specialty for many years. The accompanying picture 
represents one of their Louis XIV style grand pianos, designed 
by W. P. Stymus, Jr. 

The art grand piano of Pleyel, Lyon & Company is a beautiful 
specimen of Renaissance design, while the upright shows a most 
effective application of the Grothic style. 

The Chickering grand in Louis XIV style is a typical produc- 
tion of Chickering & Sons' art department. The Sheraton grand 
of the Everett Company, designed by John Anderson, with paint- 
ings by Samuel Hayward, is a specimen of the Everett Company's 
art work. The *' Nouveau Art " grand of Knabe & Company 
is from their catalogue of art pianos, in which all dominant styles 
are represented. 

Nearly all the leading firms of piano makers during the past 
twenty years have added special departments to their establish- 
ments for the creation of art pianos, employing their own de- 
signers and executing artists. The architects of modern mansions 
insist that the design of the piano as well as of the furniture must 
be in harmony with the architecture of the room in which it is 

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Alessandro Trasunti's Art Harpsichord, 1531 

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Hans Ruckers' Double Spinet, with Paintings, Antwerp, 1560 

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John Broadwood & Sons' Art Grand, Built for Sir Alma Tadema 

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Ludwig Bosendorfer Art Grand. Built for Empress Elizabeth of Austria 

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Rudolf Ibach Sohn Jubilee Art Grand 

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Rudolf Ibach Sohn Jubilee Art Grand 

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Julius BlUthner Art Grand 

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Erard Art Grand 

Designed by Coapri 

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IMeyelj Lyon & Company Renaissance Art Grand 

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Pleyel, Lyon & Company Gothic Upright 

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Steinway & Sous Art Gnmd Piano made for Frederick Marquaodt 
of New York City. Cost $40,000 

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Steinway & Sons One-hundred-thousandth Piano, at the White House, Washington, D. C. 
Paintings by Thomas W. Denning. Cost $20,000 

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Baldwin Art Grand 

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Weber Louis XIV Art Grand 

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Chickering & Sons Louis XIV Art Grand 

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Everett Piano Company Sheraton Art Grand 

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William Knabe & Compauy "^ouveuu Art" Grand 

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to be placed. This extended use of correct styles in art pianos 
has favorably influenced the general design of the commercial 
piano of the present day, the form and exterior of which are 
of a much more agreeable and pleasing character than the cold 
conventional designs of former years. Thus we find the ennobling 
influence of art penetrating the industry, and quietly fulfilling its 
mission of elevating character and taste. 

The Pedal Piano 

Since the church organ had been developed to perfection long 
before the piano was invented, and the first piano makers were 
recruited almost entirely from the organ maker's guild, it is 
reasonable to suppose that ** pedal pianos " were constructed in 
the early days of the piano industry, although we have no record 
of any up to the year 1843, when the author's uncle, Louis Schone, 
constructed pedal pianos for Robert Schumann and Felix Mendels- 
sohn at Leipsic. Schone constructed, for Mendelssohn, a pedal 
mechanism to be used with a grand piano, but Robert Schumann 
preferred his pedal action connected with the regular upright 
piano. The keyboard for pedaling was placed under the keyboard 
for manual playing, had 29 notes and was connected with an 
action placed at the back of the piano where a special soundboard, 
covered with 29 strings, was built into the case. As is well known, 
Schumann wrote some of his best music for this novel instrument. 

Erard and Pleyel also built pedal pianos in Paris, and it can 
hardly be doubted that Henri Pape also tried his hand at it, 
because there has ever been a demand for such instruments, by 
organists, for practice purposes. In America the Henry F. Miller 
& Sons Piano Company has for years made a specialty of building 
pedal pianos for organists. 

Carl J. PfeiflFer of Stuttgart has devoted himself of late years 
to the improvement of this instrument, with very satisfactory re- 

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Carl J. PfeiflFer's Action for Pedal Upright Pianos 

Carl J. Pfeiffer's Attachment for Pedal Grand Piano 

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Carl J. Pfeiflfer's Upright Piano for Pedal Practice 

Carl J. Pfeiffer's Mechanism for Organ Pedal Practice 

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suits. Using the iron frame and overstrung system, his pedal 
tones are sonorous and powerful and the pedal action almost the 
same in touch as the organ pedal. His independent pedal can 
be easily attached to a grand piano, as shown in the illustration, 
while for upright pianos the pedal is placed under the framework 
of the piano. A very ingenious and valuable invention is Pfeiffer's 
mechanism for organ pedal practice, which can be built into any 
upright piano and used without affecting the touch for hand play- 
ing. As the illustration shows, the pedal mechanism is so con- 
structed as to relieve the piano action instantly when the foot is 
removed from the pedal. These two practical inventions of Pfeif- 
fer's have been thoroughly tried out by prominent organists and 
are highly recommended, not only for practice purposes, but also 
for the music lover who enjoys the study of Bach's immortal pre- 
ludes and fugues or Schumann's beautiful sketches for pedal 
pianos, not to speak of Liszt's Orpheus and transcriptions of Gott- 
schalk's repertoire, and others. 

Pfeiffer's inventions have two cardinal virtues. They are emi- 
nently practical and at the same time inexpensive, which ought 
to aid in a more general introduction of the pedal piano in the 

The Player Piano 

Originally condemned, laughed at as a useless plaything, or 
at best a brother to the barrel organ, the player piano has forged 
rapidly to the front during the past four or five years. 

The unsightly cabinet player had to blast the way for the player 
piano. Its low cost made an aggressive advertising campaign 
possible. Thousands were sold and the public became acquainted 
with the possibilities of player mechanism. The cabinet player 
became obsolete as soon as properly constructed player pianos at 
moderate prices appeared on the market, and became such favorites 

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that the most obstinate opponents of the player piano among the 
piano manufacturers, were forced to recognize its commercial im- 

With the introduction of the 88-note compass, the artistic 
possibilities are almost without limitations, and the time is 
not far distant when music will be specially written for the 
player piano, of such technical complexion as to preclude its per- 
formance by hand. 

The player piano is opening up an entirely new and much 
larger field than the piano proper ever had. Considering the in- 
crease from 50 factories producing 25,000 pianos in 1869, to 200 
factories turning out 350,000 pianos in 1910, it seems diflScult to 
form any estimate of the magnitude which the industry may as- 
sume in the future, when the player piano has reached its ultimate 

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ExpoBT, Steinway, Aeolian. 

Methods of Mabketing, The Agency System. 

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A MOVEMENT of a most peculiar character must be men- 
tioned in this connection, namely, the transplanting of 
American manufacturing methods, by American manu- 
facturers, to Europe. When Sebastian Erard closed his shops 
in Paris and went to London to start a factory in the British 
metropolis, he was driven there by the terrors of the French 
revolution. He returned to Paris as soon as peace was restored, 
maintaining his London establishment, however, in charge of his 
nephew, Pierre. This is the only instance on record where a 
piano manufacturer removed his business from his own country 
to another. Now the American manufacturers are going over to 
Germany and England, establishing branch factories for their 
products, to better supply their European and export trade. 

Steinway & Sons started their Hamburg factories about 1880. 
The Aeolian Company a few years ago established a factory at 
Gotha, Germany, for making the Steck pianos and is now erecting 
a large factory near London for the Weber piano. 

Owing to high price of labor and to undeveloped shipping and 
banking facilities, the American piano manufacturer cannot look 
for any extended export business. As a matter of fact, there is 
nowhere on the globe such a good market as the United States 
at the present time. Because of the prevailing high standard of 


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living, an American city with a population of 100,000 can and does 
buy more pianos than any South American republic with 2,000,000 
inhabitants, of which only a small fraction are able to wear shoes. 
Australia, with its 5,000,000 people, does not take over 3,000 
pianos per year. Japan is beginning to make its own pianos, while 
China, with a population of over 400,000,000, buys hardly any 
pianos. The same can be said of almost all other Asiatic nations. 
It is, therefore, the home market to which the American manu- 
facturer will have to look for any expansion of his business, al- 
though a limited business offers almost everywhere for American 
player pianos of competitive value or superior quality. 

Methods of Marketing 

To increase sales, the product must be brought nearer and 
nearer to the masses, by lowering the cost of production and mar- 
keting. The system of marketing through agents, who control a 
restricted territory, practiced by the leading makers of America 
for so many years, has served its purpose and is not in harmony 
with progressive merchandising. Joseph P. Hale discovered that 
truth 40 years ago. By breaking away from it he made more 
money in his time than any other piano manufacturer. 

Makers of high grade as well as commercial pianos who still 
adhere to the agency system will eventually be compelled to sell 
their pianos as any other product is sold, namely, to whomsoever 
is able to pay for it. The much desired one-price system is utterly 
impossible as long as regularly appointed agents control the sale, 
and although leading houses publish their retail prices to the 
public, competition forces deviation in many instances. 

In 1881 the author found at Milan, Italy, a piano dealer who 
carried in stock grand and upright pianos of all the leading 
makers of the world. It was a most interesting study to play 
and compare the Erard with the Steinway, the Chickering with 

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the Pleyel, the Broadwood or Collard with Bosendorfer or Bliith- 
ner, and Schroter with Schiedmayer, so interesting that I gave 
up a whole afternoon to that pleasure, until night overtook me. 
Questioning the dealer as to whether it was not at times embarrass- 
ing for him to extol the merits of the different makes, he replied 
that he, as a dealer, never attempted to influence his customers in 
their selection of a piano. The prices were all marked in plain 
figures. He knew that all of the pianos were of the highest grade, 
and since tastes as to tone, case, etc., diflFer, he preferred to have 
his customers select whatever appealed to them as best. When- 
ever a piano was sold he would order another one of the same 
make to keep his assortment complete. This man carried about 
400 pianos permanently in stock and did the largest retail business 
in Italy. I left his warerooms thoroughly convinced that this was 
the proper way to handle the piano selling business. He was a 
merchant, high-toned, enterprising, carrying on his business in 
a most honest, respectable manner. 

In the large cities of the continent of Europe, and more espe- 
cially in London, one can find pianos of celebrated makers in 
several warerooms, although the maker may have his own city 
showroom. The time will come when piano manufacturers will 
fix the wholesale and retail price for their product, and then sell 
to any or all dealers in any city or territory without any other 
restrictions than the maintenance of retail prices, as established 
by themselves. Unless this system is adopted the manufacturers 
will, because of the practices of the dealer (bom of the agency 
system), be more and more driven into combinations, by the 
strength of which they will be able to control the dealer or do 
their own distributing. This again will, as a matter of logical 
evolution, lead to the formation of greater combinations, ending 
in the so-called trust, as illustrated in the steel, woolen and other 
dominant industries. 

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The Tbust Movements of 1892, 1897 and 1899 

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The Trust Movements of 1892, 1897 and 1899 

IN the spring of 1892 I was invited to take an active part in 
the formation of a piano trust. My studies in economics had 
convinced me long ago that the trust was not only the logical 
development of our factory system, according to the law of evolu- 
tion, but in some instances the only salvation for an industry, 
which, because of too many rivaling establishments, suflfered on the 
one hand from an unreasonable expense account, and on the 
other from over-competition, both of which reduced profits to a 

The piano industry was not in dire straits, still the expense of 
carrying on the business was out of all proportion to the intrinsic 
value of the product, and the selling methods were anything but 
ethical. The greatest evil, however, was that the industry as a 
whole was suffering from lack of sufficient working capital. 

I agreed to investigate the proposition and then give my opin- 
ion as to the feasibility of carrying it to a successful conclusion. 
My first step was to collect statistics as a basis for calculation. 
The status of the piano industry in the United States presented 
itself as follows: 

On January 1, 1892, 132 firms and corporations were engaged 
in the manufacturing of pianos and organs in the United States, 


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turning out about 91,500 pianos and 92,750 organs per year, of a 

total selling value of $22,235,000 

Cost of labor and material amounted to 13,362,500 

Leaving a margin for profit and expenses of $ 8,872,500 

If all or at least a majority of the manufacturing concerns 
could be merged into one great corporation, it would be possible 
to carry on a business of manufacturing pianos and organs, mak- 
ing only four kinds of instruments : namely. 

First, artists' pianos and organs, which should be of the high- 
est grade and command the highest prices paid now for such instru- 
ments. Second, a first-class instrument. Third, a medium-grade 
instrument. Fourth, a low-grade instrument. 

It was proposed to capitalize this corporation at fifty million 
($50,000,000) dollars. Fair and just value was to be allowed to 
each concern for its property. The affairs of the corporation were 
to be managed by a Board of Directors, elected by the share- 
holders and chosen from the ranks of the most experienced men 
engaged in the manufacture and sale of pianos and organs. 

The General Purchasing and Contract Company was organized 
under the laws of West Virginia, with a capital of $1,000,000. 
This contract company was to conduct the purchase of the various 
piano and organ concerns, and, as soon as a sufficient number of 
options were secured, the American Piano and Organ Company 
was to be started. 

On May 12, 1892, the contract company entered into an agree- 
ment with a syndicate, composed of a number of leading New York 
bankers who obligated themselves to provide capital to the amount 
of $5,000,000, to facilitate the purchasing of such manufacturing 
concerns as either needed money to cancel their liabilities or pre- 
ferred to sell for cash instead of taking the securities of the Ameri- 
can Piano and Organ Company for their plants and chattels. 

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One of the main reasons why the leading bankers were invited 
to assist in the enterprise was to insure their active support of 
the securities of the American Piano and Organ Company as soon 
as they were listed on the Stock Exchange. Being interested by 
prospective loans up to five million ($5,000,000) dollars, for which 
they would hold the securities of the American Piano and Organ 
Company, these bankers would, for their own interests, give the 
strength of their influence and manifold connections to the enter- 
prise and to the marketing of these securities. 

The financial basis of the undertaking being arranged in a 
proper and satisfactory manner, the emissary of the contract com- 
pany took the field, submitting to the piano and organ manufac- 
turers the proposition. 

It will be observed that the scheme was a bankers' proposition. 
Its aim was to procure the necessary outside capital to put the 
industry on a proper footing and upon a safe financial basis for 
legitimate expansion. Neither the scope nor aim of the proposi- 
tion were, however, properly understood and comprehended by 
the majority of the manufacturers, and the negotiations leveled 
down in most cases to a bargaining; the seller asking an unrea- 
sonable price and the buyer trying to obtain options at workable 
values. The amusing fact developed that almost every seller 
objected to ** water " and found fault with what he considered an 
over-capitalization; at the same time he would ask such an enor- 
mous price for his own property that, if a corresponding amount 
was allowed to all sellers, it would have been necessary to increase 
the capital stock of the American Piano and Organ Company 
threefold, thereby making it, of course, of proportionately less 

In spite of the bitter opposition of the trade press, the supply 
trades and other interests that erroneously feared to suffer if the 
trust should become a fact, a sufficient number of strong firms 

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and corporations saw the great advantage to be obtained, to as- 
sure the success of the undertaking, when the great panic, starting 
in April, 1893, put a sudden stop to all further negotiations and 
the scheme was abandoned. 


During the trying years of free-trade experiment, from 1893 
to 1897, the piano industry stood up well as compared with other 
industries. Comparatively few failures were recorded, and at 
the end of that long period of business depression the industry 
could even boast of an increase in production. This remarkable 
showing had not been overlooked by the banking fraternity, but 
it was also known that the piano manufacturers were very heavy 
borrowers through all those years. However, the fact that the 
industry did enjoy this credit proved its inherent strength and 
soundness, and the trust idea was again taken up in earnest. 

Many of the manufacturers who in 1892 had stood aloof, or 
had directly opposed the trust idea, now looked rather favorably 
upon the proposition and it appeared as if the project might be 
carried through. Nearly all those who had supported the move- 
ment of 1892 again took an active part in the new effort. On 
September 24, 1897, the '' Columbia Investment Company '' was 
organized and incorporated under the laws of New Jersey with a 
capital of one million ($1,000,000) dollars. This company entered 
upon an agreement with a syndicate of bankers who obligated 
themselves to advance up to five million ($5,000,000) dollars for 
the purpose of acquiring the various piano factories. All the 
contracts and agreements were similar to those of the 1892 

Several of the largest manufacturers declared their willing- 
ness to join the consolidation, but the difficulty arose how to deal 

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justly and fairly with all the desirable concerns. While appar- 
ently the manufacturer sold his business to a new company, he was 
still largely interested as a shareholder in this concern. To assure 
lasting success, all deals had to be made on a sound business basis 
and real value had to be shown for the shares issued to the 

Notwithstanding the fact that a number of the largest manu- 
facturers had either executed agreements or had reached the point 
of willingness to sell to the Columbia Investment Company, the 
enterprise had to be abandoned because of the state of the money 
market, which made the sale of new securities impossible for a 
long time to come. 


In the early part of 1899 the trust scheme was again revived, 
but upon an entirely different basis and plan than that applied in 
1892 and 1897. To eliminate the large expense connected with the 
obligations to an underwriters' syndicate, it was proposed to 
invite only such concerns into the combination as could take care 
of their own liabilities. The allotment of shares of stock was to 
be based on a proper ratio to the net profits shown for the previous 
five years, with due consideration of the value of all tangible 

Although this new plan appealed strongly to a number of the 
leading manufacturers, petty jealousy, the fear that one or the 
other might be treated more liberally and the reluctance of being 
among the first to sign, even after an agreement had been reached, 
made the negotiations so wearisome and tedious that the proposi- 
tion was dropped for good after one month's work in the field. 

The piano trade was not ready to mak« the proper start on its 
predestinated career of greater development. Only a few of the 
manufacturers had the broad vision for such a perspective as this 

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combination scheme offered. Besides, an unexpected wave of pros- 
perity such as the piano industry had never before experienced 
began to make itself felt and almost everybody was perfectly sat- 
isfied with existing conditions. 

In the light of the marvelous development of the piano trade 
since 1892, the above related efforts are of historical value. 

Like all other large industries, the piano industry, by force of 
conditions, will eventually be driven to the economic necessity of 
combination in order to stay in the procession for industrial de- 
velopment and to perform its duty to the people, providing musical 
instruments of quality at lowest cost and, furthermore, to take 
proper care of its wage workers by providing adequate pensions 
for them when their economic efficiency comes to an end. The 
great railroad combinations, the Standard Oil Company, the 
United States Steel Corporation, the International Harvester Com- 
pany, the packers and many other large combinations are pursuing 
this policy as a part of the duties which they owe to the people 
at large. Despite all the opposition by sensational writers and 
unthinking people against the so-called trusts, the fact is patent 
that all of these combinations do serve the public better than it 
was ever served before. The most noticeable illustration is found 
in the great department stores, which have adopted the one-price 
system in their piano departments. Their example will eventu- 
ally force every piano dealer to do likewise. 

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Men Who Have Made Piano History 


Italy, Guide of Arezzo, Spinnetti, Geronimo, Cliristofori, Fischer, 
Sievers, Roseler, Mola. 

Germany, Silbermann, Stein, Nannette Stein, Streicher, Bosen- 
dorfer, Seuffert, Ehrbar, Schweighofer, Heitzmann, The 
Ibachs, Ritmiiller, Rosenkrantz, Irmler, The Schiedmayers, 
Kaim & Giinther, Dorner, Lipp, Wagner, Pfeiffer, Rohlfing, 
Knake, Adam, Heyl, Vogel, Lindner, Meyer, Mand, Gebauhr, 
Thurmer, Steinweg, Grotrian, Zeitter & Winkelmann, Buseh- 
mann, Rachals, Scheel, Bliithner, Ronisch, Feurich, Isermann, 
Weiekert, Poehlmann. 

England, Shudi, Broadwood, Collard, Challen, Hopkinson, Brins- 
mead, Chappell, EavestaflF, Squire, Grover, Barnett, Poehl- 
mann, Strohmenger, Witton, Allison, Monnington & Weston. 

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Men Who Have Made Piano History 


ONE of the remarkable peculiarities of the piano industry- 
is the great value of an established name. His name is 
the piano maker's trade-mark, and that concern is fortu- 
nate that controls a name which is impressive, euphonious, easy 
to spell, easy to pronounce, easy to remember — in short, of such 
a character that it cannot be easily confounded and always will 
make a lasting impression. 

Shakespeare's often quoted phrase, ** What's in a name? That 
which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet," does 
not hold true in the piano business. The maker's name on a 
piano carries everlasting responsibility with it. But this is not 
the only significance of the maker's name on a piano. Every 
piano maker who loves his art for the art's sake, is, as a matter 
of course, a man of pronounced individuality, and he impresses 
his individuality upon his creation. Thus it comes that we hear 
virtuosos and connoisseurs speak of the Erard, the Broadwood, 
the Bliithner, Steinway or Chickering *' tone," signifying that 
each maker's pianos have an individuality of their own in tone 
and klangfarhe. This individuality is so carefully guarded that 
we find older firms always reluctant to adopt new methods 


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of construction or other innovations. They fear that any change 
may rob their instruments of their most cherished individuality^ 
their characteristic tone and klangfarbe. 

Not only the tone quality and volume reflect the maker's indi- 
viduality, the workmanship of the entire piano is guaranteed by 
the maker's name, and his name will live or die as his instru- 
ments are built to last or not. The reputation of the instrument 
which a piano maker produces follows him beyond his grave, often 
for generations. 

In due appreciation of the overshadowing importance of a 
proper name and its commercial value, many of the leading mem- 
bers of the craft did not hesitate to give up their family name, 
no matter how honorable it was made by their ancestors. When- 
ever necessary or advisable, they changed the same, so as 
to give it the desired distinction. We find Burckhardt Tschudi 
changing his name to Burkat Shudi, Ehrhardt to Erard, Schu- 
macher to Schomacker, Steinweg to Steinway, etc., and quite 
properly so! Would not an unpronounceable name on the fall 
.board kill the best piano as a commercial proposition! Not to 
.think of its impossibility on a concert program ! 

Names once identified with a good piano are never changed, 
even if in course of time no scion of the founder is connected with 
the firm or corporation making the piano. Neither genius nor 
talent can be transferred from father to son, or grandson, by 
mere teaching or example. Artists are born, and very seldom 
do following generations show any trace of their progenitors' in- 
Iborn ability. If that were not so, we would have more Rafaels, 
Rubens, Shakespeares, Goethes, Wagners or Darwins. On the 
contrary the real genius usually exhausts his talents during his 
lifetime, and new blood has to be injected to maintain the standing 
of firms founded by men who ranked far above their contempo- 
raries. Notable exceptions simply prove this rule. To maintain 

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the exalted position of a leading firm, proper respect must always 
be paid to the honor of its illustrious founder or founders, by 
unceasing efforts to better the product and, with due rever- 
ence to its artistic reputation, to improve volume and quality of 
tone in harmony with its fundamental individuality. This requires 
genius, and wherever artistic, mechanical and commercial genius 
are combined, success is inevitable. Each by itself may make a 
mark, an impression, but only the combination of the three under 
guidance of a strong mind can achieve lasting success in the piano 
business. The history of the piano industry from its beginning 
to the present day proves that. 


In the town of Arezzo a boy was born toward the end of the 
10th century who was christened Guido. Intended to wear the 
cloth, Guido was sent to a monastery to study the Holy Book and 
lead a life of abstinence and devotion, but Guido had a soul, and 
that soul was full of music. Books did not interest him unless 
they spoke of music. He invented a new system of music, so revo- 
lutionary in its character that the staid old monks drove Guido out 
of the monastery. 

The name of Guido of Arezzo is indelibly marked in history, 
for establishing the principle and system of notation of music. 
By his new system a scholar could acquire within five months as 
much knowledge of music as would otherwise require ten years 
of study. After his fame spread through the civilized world 
Guido was called back into the fold and instructed even the 
Pope in his new method. He died as prior of Avellano, May 17, 

Correctly, or not, Guido is also credited with the invention of 
the movable bridge on the monochord, and of the keyboard. He 

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was so great a genius, so strong a character, that historians of 
later days did not hesitate in crediting to him all the progressive 
events and inventions in the realm of music happening in Guido's 
time, some going so far as to ascribe to him even the invention of 
the clavichord. 

No records are available, telling us anything regarding the 
Venetian Giovanni Spinnetti, who invented the spinet about 1503 ; 
nor of Geronimo of Bologna, who gave us the harpsichord 
in 1521, but the instruments of these two makers which are 
still in existence are speaking examples of their genius and 

Padua claims the honor of being the birthplace of Bartolomo 
Christofori, but in 1710, when 27 years of age, we find Christofori 
enjoying an easy life at the court of the Duke of Tuscany at 
Florence, engaged in building clavichords, spinets and other musi- 
cal instruments for the prince and his courtiers. Whether Chris- 
tofori allowed his genius to drive him to over-exertion, or whether 
the sybaritic life at the court of the wealthy and luxurious 
prince shortened his life is not known; he died in 1731 when 
only 48 years old, leaving to the world his great invention, the 
piano e forte. 

Italy has not produced another great piano maker since Chris- 
tofori. Mola of Turin has built up a very large business and is 
to-day the mainstay of the industry in his country, but he has 
not gone on record as an independent constructor. Roseler, who 
also founded a large establishment at Turin about 1850, and was 
appointed by the King of Italy a cavalliero, came from Berlin. 
The genial Sievers, who wrote a valuable treatise on piano con- 
struction and established a factory at Naples about 1865, came 
from St. Petersburg, and Carl Fischer, preceding Sievers at Na- 
ples, came from Vienna.* 

* Fischer's sons came to New York about 1840, founding the firm of J. & C. Fischer. 

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Gottfried Silbermann, born near Frauenstein, Saxony, January 
14, 1683, served his apprenticeship as cabinetmaker and then 
studied organ building, following the example of his talented elder 
brother Andreas. We find Gottfried, about 1712, at Freiberg, 
Saxony, erecting fine church organs. His Bohemian escapades 
compelled him to leave the staid old Saxon city rather hastily, 
to seek shelter and work at his brother Andreas' atelier at Stras- 
burg. His weakness for the gentler sex involved him, however, 
here also in serious affairs, culminating in the futile effort to 
escape with a nun from the convent, and he had to tramp back 
to far-away Freiberg after a stay of several years at Strasburg. 
A fine mechanic, as illustrated by the many great church organs 
of his creation, his commercial talents were no doubt even stronger. 
Although a man of the world, a great entertainer and liberal 
spender, he accumulated a respectable fortune. In his art he was 
quick to adopt the inventions of others and thoroughly understood 
the value of clever advertising. Both Gottfried and his nephews 
at Strasburg, who succeeded their father in business, were the 
first in the piano industry who effectually resorted to reclame to 
let the world know what they were doing, and managed to get 
their* name into print much oftener than any of their contempo- 
raries, which has led many a historian to the error of calling Gott- 
fried the inventor of the piano, or the hammer action. 

Gottfried Silbermann died in 1756, having erected 30 large 
church organs and made quite a number of pianos. His nephew, 
Johann Daniel Silbermann, continued the business, devoting him- 
self to the making of grand pianos exclusively. He died on May 
6, 1766, at Leipsic, having no successor. The Strasburg branch 
of the Silbermann family continued, however, to make pianos until 
the death of Johann Friedrich Silbermann on March 8, 1817. 

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Johann Andreas Stein had a creative mind. An organ builder 
by profession, he learned piano making in Gottfried Silbermann^s 
shop. About 1754 he established himself at Augsburg, making 
pianos, and while there he built the great organ in the Church of 
St. Francis. In 1758, seeking a larger field, he went to Paris, tak- 
ing some of his pianos along, but the gay metropolis was appar- 
ently not ready for pianos. Disappointed and almost penniless 
Stein returned to Augsburg, where he again began to build pianos. 
He invented the * * hopper action ' ' and many other improvements. 

Mozart, in a letter to his mother, pronounced Stein *s pianos 
superior to any others that he had played upon. Stein's pianos 
were copied everywhere, especially by the Vienna makers, so that 
Stein may rightfully be called the father of the Vienna school. 
He built about 700 pianos and several church organs. He was born 
at Hildesheim in 1728, and died at Augsburg, February 29, 1792, 
in his 64th year. 

His talented daughter, Nannette, had learned the art of piano 
making under her father's tutelage, besides being an accomplished 
pianist. She played in concerts and had also played for Mozart 
and Beethoven. Soon after her father's death she moved to 
Vienna, where she continued the business with her brothers, 
Andreas and Friedrich. In 1794 she married Johann Andreas 
Streicher, and although her husband soon took an active part, the 
piano business was carried on under the name of Nannette 
Streicher, geb. Stein, until 1822, when her son Johann Baptist 
Streicher was admitted to partnership and the firm name was 
changed to Nannette Streicher & Sohn. 

Johann Andreas Streicher, born at Stuttgart, on December 
13, 1761, attended the renowned Karl Schule at Mannheim, to- 
gether with Friedrich Schiller, whose friendship he retained 
ever after. Leaving the school Streicher devoted himself 
entirely to the study of music, especially the piano, and gained 

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renown as a virtuoso, composer and teacher. It was but natural 
that Beethoven, while living at Vienna, should become a warm 
friend of such congenial people, who always kept open house, 
and assembled the celebrities of the day, such as Hummel, Cramer, 
Moscheles, Henselt and Kullak, around their table. This friend- 
ship never lessened to the last days of the great composer. In- 
deed Nannette exercised a motherly care over that ** great child," 
Beethoven, superintending his much neglected household and look- 
ing after his daily wants. In 1816 Nannette built for Beethoven's 
special use and by his request, a grand piano with a compass of 
Gyi octaves, which was considered quite an accomplishment in those 
days. Nearly all of Beethoven's compositions were created on 
pianos built by Nannette Streicher. She closed her eventful career 
by passing away at Vienna, in January, 1833, her husband follow- 
ing her in May of the same year. Their son, Johann Baptist 
Streicher, born at Vienna in 1796, continued the business with 
great success, and added valuable improvements, so that the 
Streicher pianos achieved world-wide reputation. He changed 
the firm name to J. B. Streicher & Sohn in 1857, when his son 
Emil was admitted to partnership. The latter retired from busi- 
ness soon after his father's death in 1871, without a successor. 

Among the many illustrious names which gave Vienna its pres- 
tige as the home of the grand piano, that of Ignatz Bosendorfer 
stands foremost. Born at Vienna in 1795, a pupil of Brodmann, 
he established his business at Vienna in 1828. After 30 years of 
active life, during which time he added many valuable improve- 
ments to the development of the piano, he retired and his talented 
son Ludwig took the reins. 

Having had the benefit of a most thorough education and 
extended travels, young Bosendorfer soon became a factor in the 
piano world, and made his pianos known far beyond the boundaries 
of his home. He improved on the piano made by his father, ac- 

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cepting modern ideas as far 
as his inborn admiration for 
the ** Vienna tone " would 
permit, and produced pianos 
which to this date hold their 
own successfully in competi- 
tion with other celebrated 

Appreciating the valu- 
able assistance of the virtu- 
osos, Bosendorfer erected a 
concert hall in 1872. Hans 
von Biilow gave a recital at 
the opening. Bosendorfer 's 
grand pianos are to this day 
the favorite instruments of 
many of the leading virtuo- 
osos, and his factory ranks 
foremost in the production of artistic pianos. In recognition 
of his services to the industry, the Emperor of Austria ap- 
pointed Bosendorfer purveyor to the court, conveyed the title 
of Imperial Commercial Counselor, and bestowed the decora- 
tion of the ** Golden Cross of Merit with the Crown," upon him. 

Friedrich Ehrbar, born on April 26, 1827, in Hanover, was an- 
other of those remarkable men who carved their fortunes out of the 
rock of privation and adversity. When two years of age a 
cholera epidemic took from him, within one week, his father, 
mother and sister. His childhood was spent in a home for orphans. 
Showing a decided talent for music as well as mechanical ability, 
when still a schoolboy, by making guitars for himself and com- 
rades, the organ builder, Frederici of Hanover, consented 

Ludwig Bosendorfer 

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to take him as an ap- 
prentice. He had to serve 
fully seven years. Al- 
though after that his mas- 
ter was anxious to retain 
his services at good wages, 
Ehrbar was intent on go- 
ing to Vienna, the high 
school of piano making. 
In 1848 he started on 
his journey. He went 
from Hanover along the 
Rhine to Frankfort, Nu- 
remberg and via Regens- 
burg to Vienna. At Han- 
over he met Henry Stein- 
weg, who had also start- 
ed out on his '' Wander- 

schaft," and the two young piano makers formed a lasting intimate 
friendship. Reaching Vienna, Ehrbar was so captivated with the 
beautiful *' Kaiserstadt, " that he immediately resolved to make his 
home there. He was fortunate in finding employment with that 
celebrated master, Seuffert. Although the original understanding 
was that he should serve for three years as a student at a nominal 
wage, he proved himself such an adept that his master relieved him 
from this obligation after the first nine months. His further prog- 
ress was so rapid that SeuflFert intrusted him in 1854 with the pro- 
duction of six pianos for the Munich exposition of 1855. Ehrbar 
had the satisfaction not only of receiving a prize medal, but further- 
more of seeing all six pianos sold at the exhibition. 

SeuflFert died in 1855 and Ehrbar managed the business until 
1857, when he acquired ownership. At the World's Fairs of Lon- 

Friedrich Ehrbar 

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Johannes Adolf Ibach 

don in 1862 and Paris in 
1867, Ehrbar's pianos were 
awarded first prizes. The 
Emperor of Austria honored 
him with decorations and the 
title of purveyor to the court,, 
and at the Vienna Exposition 
of 1873 he served as juror 
for the musical instrument 

Progressive by nature, 
Ehrbar was among the first 
of the Vienna makers who 
adopted the full iron frame 
for all of his pianos. In 
1877 he erected the Saal 
Ehrbar, a notable addition 
to the concert halls of Vienna. He retired from active business on 
January 1, 1898, and died at his country home near Vienna on 
February 25, 1905, in his seventy-eighth year. The business 
is continued under the able direction of his son, Friedrich 

I. M. Schweighofer's Sohne is Vienna's oldest firm. 
J. Fritz & Sohn, established in 1801, Karl Dorr in 1817, Otto 
Heitzmann and Josef Schneider's Neflfe in 1839, are all builders of 
good pianos, sustaining the time-honored reputation of the Vienna 
piano industry. 

Following the good old German custom to go '* wandern,'' 
that is, to travel for a number of years on foot from country to 
country, stopping for a while at a city wherever an acknowledged 
** master of the craft " had his domicile, to learn and to earn^ 
young Johannes Adolf Ibach left the monastery of Beyenburg^ 

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just as soon as his education 
was completed. He studied 
organ and piano making 
with several of the best mas- 
ters of Germany, and re- 
turned to his home a master 
of the art. He was in- 
trusted with the remodeling 
of the great organ at Beyen- 
burg and did such excellent 
work that his standing as a 
master was at once estab- 
lished. Like most organ 
builders of those days, he 
longed, however, to build 
pianos, that instrument 
which had taken such a 

a strong hold and promised a much greater field for invention 
and business expansion than the church organ. AVe find him, 
therefore, soon giving his entire attention to pianos. He knew 
how to build them, and in spite of the great depression in business, 
caused by the Napoleonic wars, Ibach's business grew steadily, 
unfortunately, however, undermining the health of the indefati- 
gable worker, so that at the age of 59, he had to give his business 
into the hands of his eldest son, Carl Rudolf Ibach, who was then 
only 21 years of age. The young man filled his place well, and from 
1825 dates the rise of the house of Ibach. To find a greater 
market for his product and to enrich his knowledge of the world and 
business, young Ibach took to travel whenever he could. He visited 
France and Spain, and never lost an opportunity to attend the 
then just inaugurated expositions and fairs, oftentimes putting 

Carl Rudolf Ibach 

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pT^; "'^r^H^HIIIHHH hi^ pianos in competition 

with others and always re- 
warded with the customary 

Like his father, he sacri- 
ficed his health for his am- 
bition, and died at Barmen, 
April 25, 1863, leaving the 
care of his business upon 
the shoulders of his son, 
Rudolf Ibach, who changed 
the firm name to Rudolf 
Ibach Sohn. Although only 
20 years of age when his 
father died, young Rudolf 
inaugurated a most aggres- 
sive campaign, just as soon 
as he had found his bearings. He was an exceptionally strong 
character, a genius in many ways, artistic in his inclinations 
and desires. He soon developed a commercial keenness and 
foresight, which, coupled with the daring bom of faith in his 
own strength and ability, brought astounding results, and in 
a few years under Rudolf's leadership the factory had to be en- 
larged to meet the growing demand for Ibach pianos. In his 
extended travels he came in contact with the leading musicians 
and composers of his day. Himself a very magnetic and interest- 
ing man, he drew others to him. Richard Wagner honored him 
by dedicating a life-size photograph with the inscription ** Seinem 
freundlichen Tongehilfen Rudolf Ibach dankbarlichs Richard Wag- 
ner, 1882. ' ' What a strong indorsement of the piano maker, Rudolf 

Rudolf Ibach 

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Liszt, Sauer, and many 
other virtuosos have played 
the Ibach grands. Rudolf 
Ibach was not satisfied to 
serve art only as ** Ton 
Gehilfe." With his resist- 
less energy he started a 
campaign to give his pianos 
an artistic exterior and 
called on the masters, of 
decorative art for assist- 
ance. In 1883, and again in 
1891, he invited competitive 
designs for artistic piano 
cases, awarding adequate 
cash prizes to the winners, 
so that the leading archi- 
tects of Germany found it 

worth their while to participate. It was not only the benefit of 
obtaining exquisite designs for the Ibach pianos which resulted 
from this enterprising movement ; it reached farther and impelled 
other piano makers to follow Ibach 's example. 

Foresightedness was one of Ibach 's characteristics. While he 
was occupied in expanding his business in all directions, he sent 
his younger brother, Walter Ibach, into the world to study the 
methods of other piano makers. Walter went to Brussels, then 
spent considerable time at Gaveau's atelier in Paris and prepared 
himself at London for his American visit, where he was for several 
years active in George Steck's factory. He also studied felt and 
hammer making in the author's factories at Dolgeville, N. Y. 
After an absence of nearly 10 years, Walter Ibach returned to 
Barmen in 1883, a master of his art, to assist his brother Rudolf, 

J. G. Irmler 

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whose duties and cares had 
grown almost beyond one 
man's endurance. Like his 
father and grandfather, Ru- 
dolf Ibach had gone beyond 
his strength, and passed 
away at the early age of 49 
years, on July 31, 1892. 
The great business which he 
built up is carried on by his 
sons, under the guidance of 
their uncle, Walter Ibach. 

In 1795 Andreas Georg 
Ritmiiller began making 
pianos at the old university 
town of Gottingen. It is not 
known where he learned his 
trade, but his pianos were 
well built and the business founded by him has continued with 
marked success to the present day. 

Ernst Philip Rosenkrantz, born July 10, 1773, served his ap- 
prenticeship with Heinrich Ludolf Mack of Dresden, and started 
on his own account in 1797. His son Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded 
him after his death in 1828. He gained a worldwide reputation 
for his instruments, doing especially a large export business to 
North America. The firm has maintained its reputation for high 
grade instruments and enjoys an enviable position among the 
Dresden makers of to-day. 

Born at Obergrumbach near Dresden, Johann Christian Gott- 
lieb Irmler studied piano making with the masters at Vienna and 
came to Leipsic in 1818, where he founded the house of J. G. 
Irmler. He built very good grand, square and upright pianos, 

Oswald Irmler 

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and some of bis earliest pro- 
ductions can be found at tbe 
Germanic Museum in Nu- 
remberg. Enterprising to 
an unusual degree, Irmler 
saw his small shop grow into 
a large industrial establish- 
ment, and his pianos sold in 
all parts of the globe. He 
died December 10, 1857. His 
sons. Otto and Oswald Irm- 
ler, had gone through the 
school of piano making in 
the leading shops of Vienna, 
Paris and London, and as- 
sumed the management after 
their father's death. The 
young men introduced steam- 
driven machinery in their works in 1861, probably as the first in the 
piano industry of Germany. Otto Irmler died October 30, 1861, 
at the age of 41, and the management fell to the younger brother, 
Oswald, then only 26 years of age. 

For 44 years Oswald Irmler directed the destiny of the time- 
honored firm with marked ability and success, taking his sons, 
Emil and Otto, in partnership in 1903. He died October 30, 1905, 
leaving an establishment to his sons, which ranks among the best 
in Germany. 

The firm of J. G. Irmler has been honored by the appointment 
as purveyors to the courts of the Emperor of Austria, the Kings 
of Wurtemburg, Sweden, Koumania, and other potentates, and re- 
ceived distinguished awards for its products wherever exhibited. 

Johann David Schiedmayer 

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Leading virtuosos such as 
Biilow, Friedheim, Henselt, 
Felix Mendelssohn, Sofie 
Menter, Carl Reinecke and 
others, have used the Irmler 
grand pianos in their con- 

It is not known of whom 
Balthasar Schiedmayer, born 
in 1711, learned his art, but 
he built his first grand piano 
at Erlangen in 1735. He died 
in 1781 and was succeeded 
by his son, Johann David 
Schiedmayer, who was hon- 
ored by the appointment of 
piano maker to the Elector of 
Brandenburg. He removed 
to Nuremberg, continuing there with great success until his death 
in 1806. His son, Johann Lorenz Schiedmayer, sought a larger 
field for his activities and we find him in 1809 located at Stutt- 
gart, laying the foundation for one of the most renowned firms 
of Germany. In 1845 he admitted his sons, Adolf and Hermann, 
to partnership, changing the firm name to Schiedmayer & Sohne. 
Always progressive, this firm produced upright pianos as early 
as 1842. At the World's Fair in London in 1851, their product 
carried off the gold medal, and in 1881 Adolf Schiedmayer re- 
ceived the title of ** Counselor of Commerce '' from the King of 
Wurtemburg. Adolf Schiedmayer died in 1890, and his brother 
Hermann in 1891. Adolf, Jr., bom in 1847, is the present head of 
the house, maintaining the honored traditions with great success. 

Johann Lorenz Schiedmayer 

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He wears the title of 
** Privy Counselor of Com- 
merce " and is also presi- 
dent of the Piano Manufac- 
turers' Association of Ger- 
many. The firm is, by ap- 
pointment, purveyor to the 
courts of Wurtemburg and 

The younger sons of 
Johann Lorenz Schiedmayer, 
Julius and Paul Schied- 
mayer, devoted themselves 
exclusively to the building 
of harmoniums. They spent 
several years at London and 
more especially at Paris with 
Debain and Alexander, and 

established themselves in Stuttgart in 1853 under the firm name of 
J. & P. Schiedmayer. They produced most excellent instruments, 
improving upon the products of the French masters, but since the 
upright piano began to crowd the harmoniums from the markets, J. 
& P. Schiedmayer were forced to begin the manufacture of pianos in 
1860, and finally changed their name to the ** Schiedmayer Piano- 
fabrik." They soon achieved great prominence, being among the 
first makers of Germany to adopt the overstrung system and full 
iron frame. In course of time the firm was appointed purveyor 
to the courts of the Emperors of Germany, Russia and Austria, 
the Queen of England and the Kings of Wurtemburg, Bavaria, 
Italy, Spain, Roumania, etc. Distinguished by the award of 45 
diplomas of honor and prize medals, at the fairs where their 

Adolf Schiedmayer 

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pianos were exhibited, the 
firm was awarded the grand 
prize at the World's Fairs 
of Paris in 1900 and St. 
Louis in 1904. 

Jnlius Schiedmayer was 
appointed Counselor of 
Commerce by the King of 
Wurtemburg, and chosen as 
juror of the piano exhibits 
at the World's Fairs of 
London, 1862; Stettin, 1864; 
Paris, 1867; Vienna, 1873; 
and Philadelphia, 1876. He 
also received decorations 
from the Emperor of Aus- 
tria and the Kings of Wur- 
temburg and Italy, in recog- 
nition of his valuable services. He died at Stuttgart, January, 
1878, his brother Paul following him in 1891. 

Under the energetic guidance of Paul's son, Max Schied- 
mayer, the renowned firm is constantly adding to its pres- 
tige and honor. Like his illustrious uncle and father. Max 
Schiedmayer has served as juror at exhibitions, notably at 
the great World's Fair of Chicago in 1893, and at Brussels in 

In 1819 Kaim & Giinther began to make pianos at Kirchheim 
near Stuttgart, building up a large business. The firm was even- 
tually dissolved, the grandson of Kaim doing business under the 
firm name of ^* Kaim & Sohn." Giinther 's sons adopted the 
firm name of ** Giinther & Sohne." The latter have the appoint- 
ment as the purveyors to the court of Wurtemburg. 

Hermann Schiedmayer 

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Among the noteworthy 
firms of Stuttgart must be 
mentioned F. Domer & 
Sohn, established in 1830, 
Richard Lipp & Sohn, in 
1831 and Hermann Wag- 
ner in 1844. The firm of 
A. J. Pfeiifer was founded 
in 1862. The present head 
of the house, Carl J. Pfeif- 
f er, has devoted much atten- 
tion to the construction of 
pedal pianos for pedal prac- 
tice of organ players. He 
has also been very indus- 
trious in collecting models 
of piano actions for the 
Royal Museum at Stutt- 
gart, and has assembled there the most complete collection of piano 
actions in existence. In recognition of his services Pfeiifer has 
been appointed purveyor to the court of Wurtemburg, and also 
Royal Counselor of Commerce. 

Germany can boast of a long list of old established houses in 
all parts of its domain. The house of Gebriider Rohlfing of Osna- 
briick dates back to 1790. H. Pfister started at Wiirzburg in 1800 ; 
Gebriider Knake of Miinster in 1808. In the year 1828 Gerhard 
Adam of Wesel, G. L. Nagel of Heilbronn, Ritter of Halle, G. 
Heyl of Borna, and I. G. Vogel & Sohn of Plauen, commenced 
business. I. P. Lindner of Stralsund made his first piano in 
1825, and Meyer & Company of Munich in 1826. In 1832 Carl 
Mand began his career at Coblenz, and in 1834 C. J. Gebauhr 
had the courage to establish himself at Konigsberg, on the far 

Julius Schiedmayer 

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eastern border of Ger- 
many. In the same 
year Ferdinand Thiinner 
opened his shop in Meis- 
sen, to be followed a year 
later by Heinrich Engel- 
hardt Steinweg at Seesen. 
His son Theodor Steinweg 
removed his business to 
Brunswick, after the elder 
Steinweg left with his 
family for America in 

Joining in 1865 the 
meantime established firm 
of Steinway & Sons in 
New York, Theodor Stein- 
weg sold his business to 
three of his workingmen, Grotrian, Helfferich and Schulz, who 
adopted the firm name of Theodor Steinweg Nachfolger. This firm 
ranks to-day among the foremost of Germany under the able man- 
agement of Wilhelm Grotrian and his sons. 

Traugott Berndt started in Breslau in 1836, and the highly 
respected firm, Zeitter & Winkelmann of Brunswick in 1837. 

In Hamburg, Gustav Adolph Buschmann commenced making pi- 
anos as early as 1805. Mathias Ferdinand Rachals followed in 1832. 
Rachals, born at Mitau, June 3, 1801, had studied with Brix of 
St. Petersburg and Sachsossky of Cassel. His pianos were of the 
highest order, and he was especially successful in constructing a 
detachable piano for tropical countries. Rachals died September 
6, 1866, and was succeeded by his son, Eduard Ferdinand, who 
continued to spread the fame of the firm. Born at Hamburg, May 

Paul Schiedmayer 

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Mathias Ferdinand Kachals 

4, 1837, he learned piano 
making in his father's shop, 
and afterward studied in the 
leading factories of Paris, 
London and Zurich. Rachals 
possessed a most artistic 
temperament, played the 
piano to perfection and en- 
joyed practicing on brass in- 
struments, playing classic 
quartets with friends for his 
own amusement. The busi- 
ness prospered under his 
able management until death 
ended his usefulness. He 
passed away April 24, 1902. 
His son Adolf Ferdinand 

went to the United States in 1892, where he worked in several 
of the prominent piano factories, including a long stay at 
Dolgeville, N. Y., for the study of hammer making. At the World's 
Fair of Chicago in 1893, M. F. Rachals & Company received a 
special diploma for their excellent instruments. Adolf Ferdinand 
Rachals succeeded his father in 1902. 

Carl Scheel of Cassel worked for Erard from 1837 to 1846, 
during the later years as superintendent. He had learned so 
much in Paris that his business, founded in 1846, was a success 
from the start. An acknowledged master of his art, he attracted 
many young men, desirous of studying under him, among whom 
Georg Steck later made a name for himself in New York. 

A most remarkable success, achieved in a comparatively short 
time, assures Julius Bliithner a prominent place in history. Born 
March 11, 1824, at Falkenhain, he learned his trade with HoUing 

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& Spangenberg of Zeitz, and 
studied under Alexander 
Bretschneider, the renowned 
builder of grand pianos, at 
Leipsic, until 1853, when he 
started in business on his 
own account. Handicapped 
by lack of a broader educa- 
tion, Bliithner had to dig his 
way to prominence. He 
was fortunate in the pos- 
session of a highly de- 
veloped sense of hearing, 
and it is said that in later 
years no one in his exten- 
sive establishment could 
** voice '* a piano so accu- 
rately as he. 
Ambitious to contribute something more to his art than mere 
industrial activity, Bliithner made many experiments to improve 
the piano. In order to enhance the volume and singing quality 
of tone in the upper octaves, he revived Hans Ruckers' fourth 
string system, calling his device the ^* Aliquot System." He also 
invented a grand action. Calling to his aid able young men of 
literary ability, Bliithner used printer's ink to great advantage 
and his fine instruments soon found a market in all quarters of 
the globe, so that his production in 1882 had risen to an annual 
output of 1200 grand and 1800 upright pianos. Bliithner pub- 
lished, in conjunction with Gretschel, a treatise on piano making, 
of which several editions have been sold. The King of Saxony 
honored him with the appointment of Privy Counselor of Com- 
merce, and he also received decorations from his King, the Duke 

Edward Ferdinand Rachals 

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of Saxe-Coburg and the 
Grand Duke of Mecklen- 
burg-Schwerin. He died 
at Leipsic in 1910 in his 
eighty- seventh year. 

None of the modern 
makers of Germany has 
done as much to procure 
for the German piano the 
prominence which it en- 
joys at the present time 
as Carl Bechstein. Born 
at Gotha on June 1, 1826, 
Bechstein was imbued 
with all the poetic and 
musical instinct so typical 
of the Thuringians. It 
was natural that he should 

choose piano making for a profession, and so proficient had he 
become that at the age of 22 he was given the responsible position 
of managing the business of G. Perau, one of Berlin's best known 
makers of that time. After four years' faithful service wanderlust 
got the better of Bechstein, and we next find him at London, later 
at Paris, studying under that genial empiric, Pape, and getting an 
insight into modern business methods with Kriegelstein. 

Equipped With new experiences in piano making, a thorough 
knowledge of Parisian commercial tactics, enriched with broader 
views, world-wise, Bechstein returned to Berlin and built his first 
grand piano in 1856. A man of the world, amiable, even magnetic 
to a certain degree, he easily attracted artists and litterateurs to 
himself, gaining thereby a publicity which redounded largely to 
the ever-increasing prosperity of his business. Carl Bechstein 

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received numerous decora- 
tions, both from his King 
and Emperor, as well as 
Qther rulers, and was ap- 
pointed purveyor to the 
courts of nearly all the reign- 
ing emperors and kings of 
Europe. He* died at Berlin 
in 1908 at the age of 82. 

Among the many firms 
that, during the past 50 
years, have been more or less 
active in expanding the piano 
industry of Germany, C. 
Weidig of Jena, founded in 
1843; Carl Ronisch of Dres- 
den, founded in 1845; and 
Julius Feurich of Leipsic, 
established in 1851, deserves special mention, 

Carl Konisch, born at Goldberg, Silesia, in 1814, experienced 
all the privations of poverty in his youth, but his inborn talent and 
determination finally got the better of adverse conditions. With- 
out capital, but having unlimited faith in his ability, he began to 
make pianos at Dresden and in time had the satisfaction of 
shipping the product of his factory to all parts of the globe. In- 
deed, Ronisch was one of the pioneers in exporting "German pianos. 
His grands and uprights became so popular in Russia, that he 
found himself compelled to erect a factory in St. Petersburg. Re- 
warded with highest awards at all expositions, wherever his pianos 
have been exhibited, Ronisch was also personally honored with 
decorations of distinction, and appointed purveyor to the Court 
of Saxony. He died July 21, 1893, at the age of 80. The great 

Carl Bechstein 

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business is successfully car- 
ried on by his sons, who 
have been his associates for 
many years. 

There are a large num- 
ber of aggressive young 
firms in Germany, making 
history, inspired by the 
glorious records of the older 
houses, but it is not the 
province of this work to 
dwell upon present and 

In the supply industries 
Germany has produced three 
self-made men who assumed 
the leadership in their re- 
spective branches from the day they entered the arena. The piano 
industry is indebted to L. Isermann, Moritz PoeTilmann and August 
Moritz Weickert for furnishing actions, wires and felt of such 
quality as to make the perfect piano of the present day a 

I. C. L. Isermann, born on July 1, 1813, near Hanover, served 
his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, and shortly thereafter 
traveled on foot through Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Bel- 
gium, working at his trade in most of the larger cities. About 
1835 he landed in Paris, the mecca of all young German artisans 
of that time. He found employment in one of the piano action 
factories. Just as soon as he had mastered that art he made fur- 
ther studies in other factories to become familiar with the various 
models of actions then in use and the different methods of manu- 
facturing. Thoroughly grounded, he returned to the Fatherland 

Carl RQnisch 

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and in 1842 started the first 
piano action factory in Ger- 
many at Hamburg. It was an 
innovation and seemed a bold 
undertaking, because up to that 
time all piano makers in Ger- 
many made their actions, fol- 
lowing their own notions re- 
garding construction. Iser- 
mann demonstrated at once, 
that he could produce a better 
action for less money than the 
piano maker, and his busi- 
ness prospered far beyond his 
expectations. His success was 
so remarkable that it invited 
competition. Very soon all 
piano makers quit producing their own actions, and the piano 
action industry, founded by Isermann, spread to all the leading 
manufacturing centers of Germany. Because of the reliability and 
excellent workmanship of his goods, the honesty and integrity 
of his dealings, Isermann always had more business offered to 
him than he could take care of, although his establishment had 
been constantly enlarged, eventually employing about 550 

In 1870 his son, C. W. Isermann, assumed manage- 
ment, and in 1904 young Ludolf Isermann, the grandson, 
joined the firm. I. C. L. Isermann died on November 5, 
1898, in his eighty-fifth year, having made his strong mark 
as a captain of industry in a field created by himself. C. W. 
Isermann died on December 29, 1900, in his sixty-first 

J. C. L. Isermann 

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^C^/^^4^ ^^^4^f{j^Cy 

Harassing labor condi- 
tions impelled Ludolf Iser- 
mann to leave Hamburg and 
join the firm of F. Langer & 
Company of Berlin, perpetu- 
ating the work of his il- 
lustrious grandfather and 
father, under most favor- 
able and promising auspices. 
Although established only 
since 1882 the firm of Langer 
& Company enjoys a most 
enviable reputation for the 
high quality of its products 
and controls one of the 
largest establishments of its 

I. D. Weickert, born Au- 
gust 23, 1751, the fourth son 

of a family of 14 children, learned the profession of an optician 
and established himself at Leipsic in 1783. Thrift and indus- 
try soon brought prosperity, with greater promises for the future. 
When the Napoleonic wars devastated Germany, paralyzing busi- 
ness for many years, Weickert 's hard-earned savings gradually 
disappeared and he and his family often had to suffer indescrib- 
able hardships. These sufferings, worry and anxiety finally 
caused the untimely death of this energetic man in 1816. 
He left his family almost in poverty, but the era of peace was 
dawning in Europe, and although only 15 years of age, 
the son, August Moritz, together with his most remarkable 
mother, hung on to what little there was left of his father's 


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After the optical busi- 
ness was re-established, so to 
speak, the young man added 
the sale of hardware and 
gradually built up a repu- 
tation for his firm. When 
he became personally ac- 
quainted with the renowned 
English tool maker, Stubbs, 
during the latter 's visit to 
Leipsic, he improved his op- 
portunity to open up direct 
business connection with this 
English firm and thus laid 
the foundation for the great 
hardware business, which 
under his personal manage- 
ment, extending over 60 
years, grew to magnificent proportions. 

In 1847 F. W. Patzschke, a hatter by trade, had made some 
experiments in producing tapered felt for piano hammers. Lack- 
ing capital, he appealed to the merchant, Weickert, who agreed 
to make the necessary advances. For several years the results 
were so disappointing that Patzschke became discouraged and 
forced Weickert to assume control and management. Weickert se- 
cured the services of his old partner's son, C. W. Patzschke, as 
manager of the factory and pushed the business energetically. 
With keen foresight he anticipated the great future in store for 
this new industry and re-invested all the profit for years in new 
machinery and improved buildings, aiming always to produce the 
best felts that could be made. For many years Weickert enjoyed 
a monopoly for his product. Other factories were started in Ger- 

C. W. Patzschke 

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many, following in Weick- 
ert's footsteps as much as 
possible, but his business 
continued to grow, in spite 
of competition, and enjoys 
to-day a position as undis- 
puted leader in the industry. 

Carl Moritz Weickert 
died on May 22, 1878, highly 
respected by all who knew 
him as a man of indomi- 
table energy, business abil- 
ity, sagacity and one whose 
noblesse of character, hon- 
esty and integrity compelled 
admiration. His son. Otto 
Weickert, extended the felt 
manufacturing business to 

enormous proportions, establishing distributing depots in all the 
larger markets. After fifty years of active participation in the 
management, he turned the business over to the care of his son 
Max and his nephew Fritz Weickert, who maintained the con- 
servative policy of the house with due regard for progressive 

The technical management of the factories has remained in the 
hands of the Patzschke family. Rudolf Patzschke, a grandson of 
F. W. Patzschke, has succeeded his father as superintendent of the 
extensive works at Wurzen, near Leipsic. 

The fact that three generations of Weickerts have continu- 
ously worked with three generations of Patzschkes, for the benefit 
of their business, may be looked upon as the key to the remarkable 
success of the time-honored firm of I. D. Weickert. 

otto Weickert 

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Moritz Poehlmann, born 
at Ober Redwitz, January 27, 
1823, began the manufacture 
of cast steel wire for piano 
strings about 1855. Al- 
though he demonstrated, 
I IK; ]^*V /^mf^M ! from the very beginning, 

\wt vf ll J^^ that his wire was superior to 

any other on the market, he 
met with great diflSculties in 
obtaining suflScient outlet to 
make his business profitable. 
It required all of that inborn 
determination, which says, 
** I will," to believe in final 
victory, during the years of 
disappointments and severe 
Poehlmann studied to improve the tensile strength, polish and 
uniform thickness of his wire, and has succeeded in outclassing 
all his competitors since the Paris exposition of 1867. Like Iser- 
mann and Weickert, he became the father of an industry, which 
multiplied, especially in Germany, mainly for the reason that 
through Poehlmann 's efforts German music wire achieved an 
international reputation. Moritz Poehlmann died March 26, 1902, 
in his eightieth year. The business is carried on by his son, Rich- 
ard Poehlmann. 

Moritz Poehlmann 


Turning to England with its rich history of glorious achieve- 
ments, we find the grand old house of John Broadwood & Sons, 
after a career of 178 years, in renewed glory at the head of the 

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English piano industry. 
The founder, Burekhardt 
Tschudi, born at Schwanden, 
Switzerland, on March 13, 
1702, came to London in 
1718, to follow his trade of 
cabinet making. He soon 
found employment with Ta- 
bel, a Flemish harpsichord 
maker. In 1732, Tschudi es- 
tablished himself as harpsi- 
chord maker in that historic 
house, 33 Great Poulteney 
Street, which the later firm of 
Broadwood & Sons occupied 
for their showrooms and city 
oflSces until 1903. It was 

in this house where the ** Wonder-child," Wolfgang Amadeus 
Mozart, practiced on the harpsichord which Tschudi had built for 
Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. 

Tschudi seems to have been the first to change his name for 
expedience' sake, for he traded under the name of Burkat Shudi. 
Besides being an excellent mechanic, Shudi was also a very shrewd 
business man, who knew the value of advertising. He courted 
the friendship of all leading musicians who came to London, and 
formed an intimate friendship with the great Handel, who intro- 
duced Shudi 's harpsichords to the English nobility, and no doubt 
assisted materially in securing Shudi 's appointment as maker 
to the court of the Prince of Wales. The composer Haydn was 
also one of Shudi 's intimate friends and was so much 
at home in Shudi 's house that he wrote many of his compositions 

John Broadwood 

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With creditable shrewdness Shudi presented to Frederick the 
Great, as the defender of the Protestant faith, one of his harpsi- 
chords, after Frederick had won the battle of Prague, for which 
he received in return a ring bearing a portrait of Frederick. In 
1776 he was commanded to build two harpsichords for the '* New 
Palais " at Potsdam, and later on Frederick ordered a harpsi- 
chord of Shudi at a cost of $1,000. Besides profiting by the pres- 
tige, Shudi certainly made a good cash profit on these instru- 

John Broadwood, born at Cockburns, Scotland, in 1732, came 
to London about 1752. A joiner by trade, he eventually found 
his way to Shudi 's shop and ingratiated himself so strongly in 
his master's favor that he not only was accepted in partnership, 
and the firm name changed to Shudi & Broadwood, but he also 
married Shudi 's daughter in 1769, whereupon Shudi retired from 
business entirely. Shudi died on August 19, 1773. Broadwood 
now took Shudi 's son in partnership, but assumed sole control 
again in 1783. 

John Broadwood was a man of exceptional ability in many 
ways. He kept in close touch with all the leaders in his art, asso- 
ciating intimately with Americus Backers, Stodart and other in- 
ventors of his day, always keeping open house for his friends 
among the musicians and other artists, so that 33 Great Poulteney 
Street became a meeting place for all the brilliant people of London 
of that time. His receptive mind enabled him to profit by this 
intercourse with intellectual people, and he never hesitated to 
ask the aid and judgment of his artistic or scientific friends, when 
working on his great innovations in piano construction. When 
Broadwood reconstructed the square piano, he was not satisfied 
to experiment merely as an empiric. He called upon his friends, 
the great scientists. Dr. Gray and Cavalla, of the British Museum, 
to benefit by their knowledge of acoustics. He would ever search 

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for scientific laws to learn cause and effect, hence his inventions 
were all of permanent value. In 1795, he admitted his son James 
Shudi Broadwood to partnership, changing the firm name to John 
Broadwood & Son, and in 1808 his son Thomas joined the firm, the 
name being again changed to John Broadwood & Sons. 

After the death of John Broadwood, in 1812, James became 
the head of the house. Brought up in the intellectual and artistic 
atmosphere of that house in Great Poulteney Street, where his 
grandfather had built harpsichords for kings and nobility, where 
Mozart, Handel and Haydn had practiced, and where his father 
had built his pianos under the advice and according to the demands 
of Muzio Clementi and other masters of the piano, James S. 
Broadwood was eminently qualified to add to the glory of the 
house, as a piano maker and a business man. Thoroughly in sym- 
pathy with the liberal views of life current in the world of artists, 
James inaugurated those celebrated Saturday dinners at 33 Great 
Poulteney Street, where he assembled around his sumptuous table 
all of the great musicians, or whoever, in London, could lay claim 
to superior achievement in art and literature. No wonder that 
the praise of the Broadwood piano was sung in all modern 
languages. Even Beethoven, with all his loyalty to Nannette 
Streicher, joined the chorus of Broadwood admirers. 

Henry Fowler Broadwood succeeded James in 1834 as head 
of the house, his valuable inventions adding largely to the luster 
of the great firm. It was during this time that Chopin gave his 
last recital in England at the concert hall of the Broadwood house 
in Great Poulteney Street. Henry Fowler Broadwood passed 
away in 1893 at the age of 82, having guided the affairs of the 
house for over 50 years. 

Walter Stewart Broadwood and Thomas Broadwood became 
partners in 1843, George Thomas Eose and Frederick Eose in 
1857. George Daniel Rose joined in 1883, and James Henry Shudi 

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Broadwood, the inventor of the barless steel frame, in 1894. W. C. 
Dobbs, a grandson of Henry Fowler Broadwood, was admitted 
to partnership in the same year. Thus six generations, counting 
from Shudi in direct descent, have guided the destiny of this great 
house. James H. S. Broadwood died February 8, 1911. 

Conforming to the changed conditions in manufacturing and 
business methods, the Broadwoods have lately erected new works, 
equipped with up-to-date machinery and appliances of the most 
approved character. In 1903 the historic showrooms on Great 
Poulteney Street had to be taken down, and one of London's most 
celebrated landmarks passed into oblivion. 

With traditional progressiveness the house of Broadwood has 
taken the lead in England by producing entire player pianos as 
a specialty in their factories and have established modern show- 
rooms near fashionable Bond Street. It should be mentioned here 
that the Broadwoods have uninterruptedly been purveyors to the 
Court of St. James since the reign of George I. 

The firm of CoUard & CoUard traces its .origin to Longmann & 
Broderip, who established a publishing house in 1767, and also 
built some pianos. Muzio Clementi, who had become wealthy, and 
whose compositions were published by Longmann & Broderip, 
invested part of his money in their piano factory, finally associat- 
ing himself with F. W. & W. P. Collard, under the firm name of 
Clementi & Company, dementi's great reputation as a virtuoso 
and composer was a distinct advantage to the young firm, but 
its lasting reputation was established through the mechanical and 
inventive genius of F. W. Collard, who obtained several patents for 
improvements as early as 1811. Upon the retirement of Clementi, 
the firm was changed to Collard & Collard. Under the aggressive 
management of Charles Lukey Collard, who became sole owner in 
1859, the firm forged rapidly to the front, and achieved worldwide 

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In 1804 Thomas Butcher 
started a piano shop and 
took William Challen as a 
partner in 1816. Upon 
Butcher's retirement in 
1830, Challen became sole 
owner. He succeeded in 
turning out excellent up- 
right pianos and amassed a 
fortune. Retiring in 1862, 
he left the business to his 
son, C. Challen, who ad- 
mitted his son, C. H. Chal- 
len, to partnership in 1873, 
from which time the firm 
has been known as Challen 
& Son. 

The firm of J. & J. Hop- 
kinson was founded in 1835 by John Hopkinson at Leeds. In 
1846 he took his brother, James, as partner and moved the business 
to London. John Hopkinson was a thorough piano builder and in- 
vented many improvements, which gave his firm great prominence. 
He retired from business in 1869 and died on April 4, 1886. 

John Brinsmead started in business in 1837. In 1862 he 
patented a repetition action, for the further improvement of which 
seven patents were granted, the latest in 1885. His sons, Edgar 
and Thomas James, took active part in the management of the 
ever-growing business, which soon was counted among the leaders 
of its kind in England. The firm was appointed piano makers to 
the Prince of Wales, and, in 1911, to King George V. Forty prize 
medals and diplomas were awarded to them at various expositions 
for meritorious exhibits. 

John Brinsmead 

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In 1870 John Brinsmead 
was elected honorary mem- 
ber of L 'Academic Xationale 
of France, and in 1878 was 
decorated with the cross of 
the Legion of Honor. Many 
of the leading artists have 
used the Brinsmead pianos 
in their concerts and have 
indorsed their fine qualities. 
Thomas James Brins- 
mead died November 9, 1906. 
Edgar William Brinsmead 
died November 18, 1907. 
John Brinsmead died March 
17, 1908, at the age of 92. 
The business is continued at 
the present day by H. Bil- 
linghurst, a grandson of John Brinsmead. 

During the palmy days of England's supremacy in the piano 
industry of Europe, many firms sprang up who have held their 
own successfully to the present day. Chappell & Co., who began 
business in 1811; Eavestaff & Son, established in 1823; B. Squire 
& Son, in 1829 ; Grover & Grover, in 1830 ; Samuel Barnett & Son^ 
and Poehlmann & Son (Halifax), in 1832; Strohmenger & Son, in 
1835; Witton, Witton & Company, in 1838; Arthur Allison & Com- 
pany, in 1840 ; and Monnington & Weston, who started in 1858, are 
counted among the progressive and successful houses of to- 
day, that readily adopted modern methods of manufacturing, and 
whose product upholds the fame of the piano industry in England. 

Thomas James Brinsmead 

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Fkance, Erard, Pleyel, Kalkbrenner, Wolflf, Lyon, Herz, Pape, 
Kriegelstein, Gaveau, Bord, Schwander, Herrburger. 

Spain, Estela, Guarra, Chassaign, Montana. 

Belgium, Berden, Van Hyfte, Vits, Boone fils, Gevaert, Giinther, 

Netherlands, Allgauer, Cuijpers, Rijken and de Lange. 

Scandinavia, Hornnng & MoUer, Ekstrem, Malmsjo, Hals. 

Russia, Diederichs, Schroder, Becker. 

Japan, Yamaha, Nishikawa & Son. 

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BORN in the old historic city of Strasburg on April 5, 1752, 
Sebastian Erard manifested, as a child, exceptional me- 
chanical talent. When only eight years of age we find him 
taking a school course in architecture and practical geometry. His 
mind, even then fertile in inventions, would suggest new problems 
and he would find his own way of solving them. He had the desire 
to leam the use of tools, and at an early age entered his father's 
shop to learn cabinet making. 

When Sebastian was 16 years of age his father died, and from 
then on it fell to Sebastian's lot to care for his mother with her 
three small children. Not wavering long, he started on foot for 
the journey to Paris. Arriving there in 1768, he found employ- 
ment with a harpsichord maker, and earned such good wages that 
he could well take care of those he had left behind at Strasburg. 

The study of the harpsichord became a passion with him, and 
he soon was the peer of his employer, who, evidently an empiric, 
could never answer Erard 's searching questions as to the scientific 
reasons or causes in harpsichord construction. Indeed, it was but 
a short time after his connection with the harpsichord maker that 
Erard could teach his master. He began to construct instruments 
according to his own ideas, and they found so much favor that 
Erard 's fame spread rapidly, so much so that the Duchess of 


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Villeroy, a great patroness of art, sought him out and engaged 
him to build an instrument for her use, placing a well-equipped 
workshop in her own palace at his disposal, with perfect liberty 
to follow his own inclinations and desires, just as Christofori had 
done at the palace of the Duke of Tuscany. 

It was here that Erard constructed his first piano in 1777. It 
is said that it was superior to any other piano of that time. Al- 
though he enjoyed the respect and most liberal protection of the 
duchess, Erard when 25 years of age had greater aspirations. He 
left the palace and started his own shop in the Rue de Bourbon. 
Because of his connection with the aristocracy, fostered by his 
influential protector, ithe Duchess of Villeroy, Erard 's success was 
immediate. With his brother, Jean Baptiste, he founded in 1785 
the firm which for many years thereafter reigned supreme in all 
the concert halls of the civilized world. No other firm, before or 
after Erard, occupied so exalted a position in the musical world as 
the house of Erard, from 1796 to 1855. 

That Erard had become a man of culture and refinement is 
illustrated by the fact that he managed to keep in close touch with 
the French aristocracy, and that he had sufficient influential friends 
at the king's court, so that at a time when the luthiers of Paris, 
who suffered in business because of Erard 's competition, demanded 
the closing of his shop because he was not a chartered member of 
the guild, the king issued a special charteir for Erard as privileged 
piano and harp maker, independent of the guild. What splendid 
advertising ! Erard had downed the guild that had set out to ruin 
him, and he stood now above it by special edict of the king ! 

The French Revolution drove Erard to London, where he im- 
mediately started a piano and harp factory. As in Paris, so in 
London, Erard managed to obtain the entree to the inner circles 
of the English aristocracy, and, because of his interesting and 
magnetic personality, made warm friends among the peers of 

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England. At the proper time 
he understood how to make 
good use of his influential 
friends. When he made the 
most unusual request for a 
renewal of the English 
patent on his repetition ac- 
tion, he depended upon his 
personal friends in the 
House of Lords to carry his 
point. By their support suc- 
cess was his ! 

His forced stay in Eng- 
land was not only advan- 
tageous to him in a financial 
way — and Erard surely was 
a good financier — he profited 
largely by getting more 

closely acquainted with English systems of piano construction and 
manufacturing methods, which knowledge he put to excellent use 
in his Paris factory upon his return there in 1796. In fact, Erard 's 
prominence as a manufacturer dates from that time, and for many 
years the pianos built by him in Paris followed the English models 
very closely. 

However, Erard was too great a genius to follow a beaten path 
long, and he soon developed many useful inventions, which assured 
him immortality in the piano world and made his pianos the fa- 
vorites of all the great artists (excepting Chopin) for almost two 
generations, an unparalleled record ! 

It is needless to say that Erard was a princely entertainer. 
For many years the Salon Erard was the center of the intellectual 
life of Paris, and the Salle Erard the place where Liszt and all 

Sebastian Erard 

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the great virtuosos of the 
day played before most dis- 
tinguished audiences. 

Erard divided his time 
between Paris and London. 
His brother Jean Baptiste 
had charge of the Paris es- 
tablishment and his nephew 
Pierre managed the London 
works. Jean Baptiste Erard 
died in 1826, and Sebastian 
Erard on August 5, 1831. 
He made his nephew, Pierre 
Erard, sole heir of his busi- 
ness and of his great estate. 
Pierre made Paris his 
domicile in 1834, going to 
London off and on to look 
after the business affairs 
there. He died at Paris in 1855. The Paris factory, under the 
management and ownership of Mons. A. Blondel, is still producing 
excellent instruments, which are preferred by leading virtuosos, 
maintaining the exalted position created by the great genius and 
wonderful personality of Sebastian Erard. 

At the village of Ruppersthal, near Vienna, lived a school- 
master by name of Pleyel. He was twice married and became the 
father of 38 children, living to be 99 years of age. His twenty- 
fourth child, born in 1757, was baptized *' Ignace." The boy 
seemed to be talented, and his father therefore soon began to teach 
him the Latin language, and also obtained a good music teacher 
for him. Ignace was a prodigy, and made such astounding prog- 


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ress in his music studies that 
the wealthy, music-loving 
Count Erdoedy agreed to 
pay the great composer, 
Haydn, the large sum of $500 
per year, for five years, for 
teaching and boarding young 
Ignace, who was then 15 
years of age. After finish- 
ing his studies with Haydn, 
Ignace went to Italy, where 
he spent some time at the 
court of Naples, and by re- 
quest of the king composed 
an opera, also a number of 
orchestral works. 

From 1783 to 1793 Pleyel 
occupied the chair as chapel-master of the cathedral of Strasburg. 
During that period he composed most of his works, which had 
an unusually large sale all over Europe. In 1793 he resigned as 
chapel-master and accepted a lucrative engagement at London, 
where he appeared in concerts in direct competition with his old 
master Haydn. It seems that London did not appeal to him, and 
he soon returned to Strasburg. 

During the French Revolution, Pleyel was suspected of royal 
tendencies and was repeatedly condemned to death. Stoutly main- 
taining his loyalty to the republic, he was, as a test, compelled to 
compose music to a revolutionary drama. Constantly watched by 
two gendarmes, Pleyel finished the work in seven days. It was 
received with so much approval by the populace that his' loyalty 
to the republic was never again questioned. The harassing expe- 

Ignace Pleyel 

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rience was, however, too 
much for sensitive Pleyel 
and he soon after removed 
to Paris. In 1805 he went 
into the music publishing 
business and also started a 
piano factory in 1807. In 
1824 he transferred his busi- 
ness to his oldest son Camille 
and retired to a country seat 
near Paris, where he died on 
November 14, 1831. 

Camille Pleyel, bom at 
Strasburg in 1792, studied 
music with his father, and 
later on studied piano with 
Dussek. He demonstrated 
that he also had consider- 
able talent as a composer, and one of his biographers says that, if 
he had not been a music seller and piano maker, he would prob- 
ably have become a great composer. He associated himself with 
Kalkbrenner, the renowned musician and piano virtuoso. To- 
gether they spent several years at London, studying piano making 
with Broadwood, Collard and Clementi. They adopted for their 
pianos the upright action of Wornum, and the Broadwood for 
their grand pianos, and organized their factory according to the 
modern methods originated in London, all of which were great 
factors in the remarkable success of the firm. 

Both principals being accomplished pianists of high order,. it 
was but natural that they were in close touch with the brilliant 
men of the profession. Camille Pleyel formed a very intimate 
friendship with Frederic Chopin, who became an enthusiastic ad- 

Camille Pleyel 

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vocate of the Pleyel piano, 
which he played in all his 
concerts, with a few excep- 
tions. Salle Pleyel, erected 
about 1829, was the place 
where Kalkbrenner, Hum- 
mel, Hiller, Moscheles, Mme. 
Pleyel and many others 
scored their triumphs, and 
where Frederic Chopin made 
his bow to Paris in 1832. 
Anton Rubinstein, at the 
age of 10, played there in 
1841, followed by Saint- 
Saens, who made his debut 
at the age of 10, in 

Camille Pleyel died at Paris, May 4, 1855, succeeded by his 
partner, Auguste Wolff, the firm having been changed to Pleyel, 
Wolff & Company. Under Wolff's intelligent management the 
business expanded so that the production rose in 1889 to 2,500 
pianos per year. Wolff died in February, 1887, since which time 
the concern has been guided by Gustave Lyon. The firm has been 
incorporated under the name of Pleyel, Lyon & Company. As 
far as I know, this company is the only establishment in the piano 
industry that has installed a practical pension system for aged 

Like Clementi, Cramer, Kalkbrenner and Pleyel, the great 
piano virtuoso, Henri Herz, entered upon piano making after his 
reputation as a musician was established. Born on January 6, 
1806, at Vienna, he played in concert at Coblenz when only eight 

Auguste Wolff 

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years of age. When 10 
years old he was admitted as 
pupil at the Paris Conserva- 
tory, where he obtained the 
first prize in 1818. He then 
made extended concert tours 
through France, Germany 
and England, meeting with 
great success. His composi- 
tions were also very popular, 
and when he met the piano 
maker, Klepfar, about the 
year 1825, he established a 
piano factory at Paris. The 
enterprise was not a success 
in the beginning, and, in 
order to replenish his ex- 
chequer, Herz undertook a 
great concert journey through the United States, California, Mex- 
ico and the West Indies during 1849 and 1850. Upon his return to 
Paris he devoted himself largely to the improvement of his pianos, 
and established his fame among piano makers by the practical 
simplifying of the Erard grand action. His model has been almost 
universally adopted and is known as the Erard-Herz action. When 
he erected his new factory he provided a large concert hall, which, 
under the name of ** Salle Herz," became famous because of 
the concerts given there by many of the masters of the piano 

Herz's grand pianos were distinguished by their rich and re- 
fined tone, evenness of register and excellence of touch. Wher- 
ever exhibited these instruments were awarded high prizes, and 
always ranked among the best. Herz was appointed professor of 

Henri Herz 

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music at the Paris Conserva- 
tory in 1842, and held that 
position until 1874. Deco- 
rated by the King of Bel- 
gium, he was also appointed 
purveyor to the Empress of 
France. He died in Paris on 
January 5, 1888. 

One of the most interest- 
ing leaders of the French 
piano industry of that period 
was Johann Heinrich Pape, 
born at Sarstedt, Germany, 
on July 1, 1789. He arrived 
at Paris in 1809 ; but shortly 
after went to London, study- 
ing there for over a year, 
returning to Paris in 1811. 

He took charge of the Pleyel factory and began to build pianos 
after English models. In 1815 he started in business on his own 
account, and commenced a carnival of experiments, the record 
of which is almost amazing. It seems as if Pape's mind just 
bubbled over with ideas, some so bizarre and queer as to border 
on the ridiculous. He took out over 120 patents for piano im- 
provements and published a booklet describing his inven- 

Had Pape, only to a small degree, possessed the orderly mind 
of a John Broadwood, or a Sebastian Erard, he would, beyond 
doubt, have become a great benefactor to the industry. As it was 
his experiments and vagaries are only interesting, but without 
value, excepting his experimenting with hat-felt for hammer- 
covering, which led the way to a permanent improvement. 

Charles Kriegelstein 

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It is safe to say that 
Pape's restless mind did not 
permit him to turn out a 
number of perfect pianos in 
succession. He made many 
very good pianos in his big 
factory, but, before one of 
his often brilliant ideas 
was thoroughly worked out 
to practical usefulness, he 
would come out with an- 
other idea of improvement, 
which necessitated yet an- 
other change in the piano 
then under construction. 
His reputation as an inven- 
tor spread all over Europe, 
and while in his prime, from 
1835 to 1855, Pape had in his factory young men from all parts 
of the Continent studying under him. Many of them became well 
known later on, among his most talented pupils being Frederick 
Mathushek and Carl Bechstein. 

Toward the end of his career Pape was beset with a mania for 
building pianos in all kinds of impossible forms — cycloid, hexagon, 
etc. — to which the buying public did not take, and, although he at 
one time owned one of the largest piano factories of Paris, 
employing over 300 men, he died a poor man on February 2, 

Jean Georges Kriegelstein, born at Riquewihr in 1801, founded 
the firm of Kriegelstein & Company at Paris in 1831. He in- 
vented many improvements and was especially successful with a 
small upright piano, which he constructed in 1842. Although only 

Jean Schwander 

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42y2 inches in height, it had 
a rich tone and was espe- 
cially even in its registers. 
He retired from business in 
1858, and died at Paris on 
November 20, 1865. His son, 
Charles Kriegelstein, born 
at Paris, December 16, 1839, 
followed in the footsteps of 
his father, with marked suc- 
cess, obtaining high honors 
for his pianos, wherever ex- 
hibited. The business is now 
under the management of 
Georges Kriegelstein, son of 
Charles, who maintains the 
high reputation which his 
predecessors acquired. 

J. G. Gaveau started to make pianos at Paris about 1847, and 
in course of time built up a large business, turning out about 2,000 
high-class pianos per year. 

Jean Denis Antoine Bord, born at Paris in 1814, was the 
first in Paris to make a commercial upright piano of good quality. 
He started his business in 1840, and brought his production 
to over 4,000 pianos per year in 1878. He died on March 4, 

Action making, as a specialty, had its cradle in Paris, and for 
many years Paris supplied nearly all the piano makers on the 
continent of Europe. Jean Schwander, bom at Lauterbach, 
Alsace, in 1812, came to Paris in 1830, and learned action making 
at Kriegelstein 's factory. He started his own shop in 1844, and 
Kriegelstein became his first customer. Schwander turned out 

Josef Herrburger 

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such excellent work that his 
business expanded very rap- 
idly. After taking Josef 
Herrburger in partnership in 
1865 and accepting him as 
son-in-law, the concern as- 
sumed commanding propor- 

Josef Herrburger, born 
at Dauendorf , Alsace, in 1832, 
went to Paris in 1853 and 
began to work for Scliwan- 
der in 1854. He demon- 
strated not only great ability 
as an organizer, but also as a 
mechanician with inventive 
talent. He designed many 
valuable machines and appli- 
ances for action making and invented several valuable improve- 
ments for piano actions. The Schwander action factory became 
known as the best equipped establishment of its kind, its products 
were shipped to all parts of the civilized world and young piano 
makers from all over the Continent came to the Schwander factory 
to study modern methods of action making. Jean Schwander 
died in 1882 and Josef Herrburger retired from business in 1900, 
succeeded by his son, Josef Herrburger, Jr., who established a 
branch factory in New York, maintaining the exalted standing of 
the old firm in both hemispheres. 


Barcelona is the center of piano manufacturing in Spain. We 
find that Pindo de Pedro Estela established his shop in 1830, 

Johann Friedrich Schroder 

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Hennanos Guarra and Louis Izabel in 1860, Chassaign Freres in 
1864. At Madrid, Montana commenced business in 1864. 


Belgium can boast of 
older firms. Frangois Ber- 
den & Company commenced 
business at Brussels in 1815. 
In the city of Ghent four 
firms started within a few 
years, about the middle of 
the 19th century. B. Van 
Hyfte was established in 
1835, Emile Vits in 1839, 
Boone Fils in 1839 and V. 
Gevaert in 1846. J. Giin- 
ther of Kirchheim started in 
Brussels in 1845, and J. Oor 
in 1850. 

The Netherlands has ^^^^ Xicoiai Schroder 

three firms of excellent standing— Allgauer & Zoon of Amsterdam, 
established in 1830; J. F. Cuijpers of Hague, started in 1832, and 
Eijken & de Lange of Rotterdam, in 1852. 


The respected firm of Hornung & Moller of Copenhagen, 
founded in 1827, has always been in the lead. G. Ekstrem & Com- 
pany started at Malmo in 1836. I. G. Malmsjo of Goteborg 
established in 1843 and Brodrene Hals, who started at Christiania 
in 1847, are all known beyond their own country as makers of high- 
class pianos, and from their shops the piano manufacturers of 
America have drawn many of their best workmen. 

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11^7 "^^^^^^™ The firm of Gebr. Diede- 

^hI ^^^^ ^m richs was established in St. 

Hi ' ^^ I Petersburg in 1810. No 

B|p J ^^ H record of this old firm is 

J A' y% ^V available; it is, however, safe 

to assume that they came to 
Eussia from Germany. 

Johann Friedrich Schro- 
der, born at Stralsund in 
1785, started to make pianos 
in St. Petersburg in 1818 
and built up a respectable 
business. After his death in 
1852, his son, Karl Michael 
Schroder, born in St. Peters- 
burg in 1828, having studied 
with Erard and Herz at 
Paris, made good use of what 
he had learned and began to build excellent grand pianos, which 
found great favor with the artists, bringing his firm into the front 
rank of European piano makers. His pianos were awarded the high- 
est honors wherever exhibited, and Schroder was honored with deco- 
rations by the Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of 
Belgium, and was elected a member of the Legion of Honor in recog- 
nition of his services. He died at Frankfort-on-Main, May 5, 

His son, Carl Nicolai Schroder, continued the progressive 
policy of his father, following closely all modern movements in 
piano construction, as well as factory organization and equipment. 
The firm has been appointed purveyor to the Emperors of Russia^ 
Austria, Germany, and the Kings of Denmark and Bavaria. After 

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Carl Nicolai Schroder's 
death the management of the 
establishment passed into the 
hands of his sons, John and 
Oskar Schroder. 

Jacob Becker went from 
Neustadt-an-der-Hardt, Ger- 
many, to St. Petersburg and 
established his business in 
1841. Becker was an inde- 
pendent thinker and experi- 
mented with many innova- 
tions. His pianos, especially 
his concert grands, were ex- 
cellent instruments, often 
used, by leading virtuosos. 
Becker retired from business 
in 1871, to be succeeded by Michael A. Bietepage, under whose 
energetic management the business took on commanding propor- 
tions. The firm received appointments as purveyor to the Em- 
perors of Russia and Austria, the King of Denmark and the Grand 
Dukes Constantin and Nicolai of Russia. M. A. Bietepage was 
honored by election as hereditary honorable citizen of St. Peters- 
burg and commander of the St. Stanislaus Order. In 1904 Biete- 
page retired and the firm is now controlled by Carl Schroder. 

A. Bietepage 


Although Japan was represented at the Paris Exposition of 
1878 with a square piano, the piano industry is developing only 
slowly there. Torakusu Yamaha established his business of mak- 
ing musical instruments in 1880. In 1885 he produced the first 

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organ made in Japan and 
organized The Nippon Gak- 
ki Siezo Kabusliiki Kwaisha 
(Japanese Musical Instru- 
ment Manufacturing Com- 
pany) in 1889 with a capi- 
tal of 30,000 yen. In 1907 
the capital was increased 
to 600,000 yen, of which 
nearly 500,000 yen is paid 
up. Yamaha is president 
of the company, which owns 
extensive factories at Ham- 
mamatsu. This company 
produces now about 600 
pianos, 8,000 organs and 
13,000 violins per year, 
mainly patterned after 
American and German models. 

Nishikawa & Son of Yokohama, established in 1885, manufac- 
ture about 200 pianos and 1,300 organs per year. The senior 
member of this firm was a maker of Japanese lutes and other 
musical instruments, and is still making violins. His son learned 
piano making at the Estey factory in New York. 

Torakusu Yamaba 

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America, Crehore, Osborn, Babcock, MacKay, Stewart, The Chick- 
erings, Bacon & Raven, James A. Gray, William Bourne, Mc- 
Phail, The Lindemans, Schomacker, The Knabes, Steinways, 
Hazeltons, Fischers, Stieff, Weber, Steck, etc., Kimball, 
Cables, Wulsin, Starr, Healy, Wurlitzer, etc., Estey, The 
Whites, Packard, Votey, Clark, etc. 

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THE history of prominent piano men and firms of the United 
States portrays not only the restlessness of the American 
people, differing from the conservatism of the old world, 
but also demonstrates in a large degree that America is the land 
of unlimited opportunities and possibilities. Nowhere else have 
firms founded on meritorious production and sane business 
methods gone so quickly into oblivion, and nowhere else have such 
stunning successes been achieved as in the United States. 

The progress in technical as well as commercial development 
has been rapid because America could draw from the old world 
its best minds, or benefit by their products, assimilate and improve 
them. It had the whole civilized world to draw from, and was 
never slow in producing original ideas. The seemingly endless 
natural resources of a whole continent were at the command of 
the industry, and its only drawback in the early days was the lack 
of a sufficiently large clientele of cultured people who would buy 
the instruments, as compared with Europe. Hence we find that, 
although square pianos were made in America at about the same 
time as in England and Germany, it took about fifty years longer 
to develop the industry to anything like the magnitude which it 
had approached in Europe. 


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Benjamin Crehore, who had established a reputation as an 
expert maker of violins, cellos and other musical instruments, 
exhibited a harpsichord in 1791, and soon thereafter built pianos 
at Milton, near Boston. In his shop he had John Osbom, Alpheus 
and Lewis Babcock as pupils. In 1810 the Babcock brothers 
began to make pianos in Boston. The great panic of 1819 ruined 
their business, but we hear of Alpheus Babcock again in 1821, in 
partnership with John MacKay, that commercial genius who later 
assisted so strongly in building up the fame of the Chickering 

John Osbom, the most talented of Crehore 's pupils, started 
in business in 1815. It was in Osborn^s shop that Jonas Chicker- 
ing learned the art of piano making. Born in New Ipswich, N. H., 
on April 5, 1798, Chickering came to Boston about 1817, after he 
had served his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker and joiner. Well 
educated and possessing decided mechanical talents of a high 
order, Chickering was attracted to the art of piano making and 
was fortunate in finding a master like Osborn as teacher. He 
studied with Osborn until 1823, when James Stewart, who had 
come from Baltimore to go in partnership with Osbom, but soon 
quarreled with him, proposed partnership to Chickering, which the 
latter accepted, and the firm of Stewart & Chickering opened their 
shop on Tremont Street in that year. 

Stewart was one of those restless, unsettled inventors, who 
needed the methodical and painstaking young Chickering to give 
to his inventions the practical form. It soon developed, however, 
that Chickering was not only the better workman of the two, but 
also the far more scientific piano maker. The firm was dissolved 
in 1826. Stewart went to London to take a prominent position 
with CoUard & Collard. Jonas Chickering continued the business, 
making excellent pianos, but his talents were more in the line of 
inventing and constructing than merchandising. He also suffered 

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from lack of capital, so that 
his progress was rather slow 
until John MacKay, who had 
left Babcock, joined him as 
a partner. This closed the 
chain of Chickering's con- 
nection with Crehore, the 
founder of the Boston school, 
consisting of Osbom and 
Lewis Babcock, pupils of 
Crehore; and Alpheus Bab- 
cock, partner of MacKay, 
the latter joining Chickering. 

MacKay had had con- 
siderable experience as a 
merchant, having traveled 
much to England and other 
foreign countries, and was 
unquestionably a commer- 
cial genius. With sufficient capital at his command, and faith in 
Chickering's excellent pianos, MacKay started an aggressive sell- 
ing campaign, making the Chickering piano known in all the cities 
of the United States. Chickering, freed from all financial and 
business cares, devoted his whole time and attention to the develop- 
ment and improvement of his piano, and many of his best inven- 
tions were perfected during the period of his partnership with 
MacKay, which came to an untimely end in 1841. MacKay, hav- 
ing gone in a ship of his own to South America to procure fancy 
woods for the Chickering factory, never returned from that voy- 
age, nor was his ship ever heard from. 

Once more Jonas Chickering had to assume entire charge of 
the business. He continued MacKay 's aggressive policy with great 

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energy, mamtaining the highest possible prices for his pianos, 
and spending money liberally for the necessary publicity. He 
exhibited his pianos at every important exposition^ going to the 
World's Fair of London in 1851 with a number of instruments; 
engaged prominent virtuosos to play his grand pianos in concert ; 
and took active part in the musical life of his home city, acting as 
vice-president of the great Handel and Haydn Society as early 
as 1834, and later on as its president for seven years. 

While paying proper attention to the commercial and artistic 
necessities of his great establishment, Jonas Chickering was ever 
true to his love for scientific research and experiments, to improve 
his pianos. He was not an empiric, who would experiment hap- 
hazard with an idea. Whenever he had discovered a possible 
improvement, he would work out the problem in its entirety on his 
drawing board, until he had proven to his own satisfaction its 
practicability, and not before would he turn it over to his 
mechanics for execution. It was this painstaking care down to the 
smallest detail which assured the Chickering piano the place of 
honor in the first ranks. 

When at the height of his prosperity Jonas Chickering met 
with a great calamity. On December 1, 1852, his factory was 
totally destroyed by fire, involving a loss of $250,000. Undaunted, 
Chickering at once designed plans for a new and larger factory, 
which was soon erected, and stands to this day on Tremont Street, 
Boston, as a monument to the exceptional ability, talent and cour- 
age of Jonas Chickering. Even now, nearly 60 years after its 
erection, this factory is considered one of the best for its purpose. 

Jonas Chickering died on December 8, 1853, in his fifty-sixth 
year. The extraordinary nervous strain of the short period from 
the destruction of his old factory to the completion of the new 
works had, no doubt, affected his constitution. He had educated 
all of his three sons as practical piano makers and admitted them 

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to partnership in 1852, when 
the firm was changed to 
Chickering & Sons. The 
three brothers made a rare 
and most fortunate combina- 

Thomas E. Chickering, 
the eldest son, soon ex- 
hibited pronounced commer- 
cial talents and, as a man of 
the world, represented the 
firm with excellent results in 
social circles, making friends 
among artists, literary and 
scientific men. His promis- 
ing career was prematurely 
cut short by his death on 
February 14, 1871. 

This sad event made C. Frank Chickering, born at Boston on 
January 20, 1827, the head of the firm. Having inherited his 
father's talents as a designer and inventor, he had been in charge 
of the construction department since his father's death in 1853. 
While studying, as a young man, he had impaired his health and, 
upon the advice of his physician, in 1844 he went on a voyage to 
India in a sailing vessel. He took with him a number of 
pianos, which he sold in India at good prices, and thus the firm 
of Chickering became the first exporters of American made 

In 1851 Frank accompanied his father to London to take care 
of their exhibit at the World's Fair. The prolonged stay in what 
was then the home of the most advanced piano construction was 
of great and lasting advantage to young Frank. It gave him the 

Thomas E. Chickering 

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C. Frank Chickering 

opportunity to study and 
compare the work of the best 
brains of the industry as it 
then existed in Europe, and 
furthermore he became ac- 
quainted with the advanced 
manufacturing methods of 
the celebrated London estab- 
lishments. Returning from 
abroad, Frank utilized his ex- 
periences with effect, greatly 
improving the Chickering 

Appreciating the impor- 
tance of New York as an art 
center, Chickering & Sons 
opened extensive warerooms 
there under the direct management of C. Frank Chickering, and 
in 1875 erected Chickering Hall, on Fifth Avenue. In this hall, 
virtuosos like Biilow, Joseffy, de Pachmann, Henry Ketten and 
many others gave their never-to-be-forgotten concerts on the 
Chickering grand pianos, designed and constructed by C. Frank 

Chickering Hall was chosen as a permanent home by leading 
glee clubs, such as the Mendelssohn, the English Glee Club, the 
New York Vocal Society and by those eminent apostles of classic 
chamber music, the New York Quartette, composed of C. Mollen- 
hauer, M. Schwarz, George Matzka and F. Bergner, and the Phil- 
harmonic Club under the able leadership of Richard Arnold. 
Remenyi and Wilhelmi appeared as soloists with Gotthold Carl- 
berg's Orchestra, and Frank Van der Stucken conducted symphony 
concerts for several seasons in Chickering Hall, to be followed by 

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Anton Seidl and the Bos- 
ton Symphony Orchestra 
with Franz Rummel, Xaver 
Scharwenka and Richard 
Hoffmann as soloists. The 
great building contained, 
besides the concert hall 
with a seating capacity of 
2,000, the showrooms for 
the Chickering pianos, offices, 
repair shops and also the 
drafting rooms, where C. 
Frank Chickering designed 
and worked out his in- 

It was but natural that 
in New York, as in Boston, 
Frank should be in close 

touch with artistic and literary circles. Among his personal 
friends was one J. H. Paine, a composer and critic of con- 
siderable ability. He was generally known as ** Miser " Paine, 
and would gladly accept Chickering 's hospitality and aid at all 
times. He was considered a poor man by all who knew him. 
One day he brought to Frank Chickering a bundle wrapped up in 
a bandanna handkerchief, asking Chickering to kindly place the 
package in his safe. Chickering assumed that the bundle con- 
tained manuscripts of Paine 's compositions and accepted the 
charge. About 17 years thereafter Paine died, without leaving a 
will or any disposition of the aforesaid bundle. Chickering sent 
for Paine 's legal representative, the bundle was opened in his 
presence and found to contain over $400,000 worth of bonds and 
currency. Chickering delivered the valuable package to the 

George H. Chickering 

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lawyer, who was obliged to hunt up distant relatives of Paine to 
distribute the heritage. 

C. Frank Chickering was in all respects one of nature's noble- 
men. In appearance he reminded one forcibly of the Grand 
Seigneurs of Louis XIV 's time. He died in New York, March 
25, 1891. 

George H. Chickering, the youngest of the brothers, was born 
at Boston on April 18, 1830. After acquiring an excellent educa- 
tion, he turned to the bench and worked under his father's tutelage. 
For many years George made every set of hammers used in their 
concert grands. He was an exceedingly neat and artistic me- 
chanic. After 1853 he took charge of the factory management and 
performed his arduous duties most faithfully until his death, on 
November 17, 1896. All three of the brothers, like their father, 
took an active part in the artistic life of their home city and each 
of them served in turn with honor as president of the Handel and 
Haydn Society. 

The Chickering pianos were always awarded the highest hon- 
ors wherever exhibited, and, at the World's Fair at Paris, 1867, C. 
Frank Chickering was decorated by the Emperor of the French 
with the Cross of the Legion of Honor. 

The business of this renowned firm is successfully carried on 
by a corporation which has joined the American Piano Company, 
maintaining the high character of its products. True to the tradi- 
tions of the honored name, Chickering & Sons have of late years 
been instrumental in reviving interest in the beauties of the old 
clavichord, and are building such instruments for those who enjoy 
the study of the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, Scar- 
latti and others who wrote for the clavichord. The factory on 
Tremont Street, Boston, has become a landmark of that historic 
city, but Chickering Hall, New York, had to give way to a modern 
building for business purposes. 

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Next to Chickering & 
' Sons, the Bacon Piano Com- 
pany of New York is most 
closely connected to tlie 
founders of the industry in 
America. Robert Stodart of 
London started in New York 
in 1820. In 1821 Dubois 
joined him and the firm was 
Dubois & Stodart until 1836, 
when Stodart retired and 
George Bacon and Chambers 
joined. Five years later Du- 
bois and Chambers withdrew 
and Raven joined, the firm 
being changed to Bacon & 
Raven, which was again 

changed to Raven & Bacon, when George Bacon died in 1856 and 
his son, Francis Bacon, entered as partner. In 1904 the firm was 
incorporated under the title of the Bacon Piano Company, with 
Chas. M. Tremaine as president and W. H. P. Bacon, son of Fran- 
cis, as vice-president. 

James A. Gray, bom at New York in 1815, learned his trade 
with Firth & Pond of New York from 1831 to 1835, when he was 
called to Binghamton, N. Y., to superintend Pratt's piano factory. 
In 1836 William Boardman of Albany induced him to take charge 
of his establishment, and two years later the firm became Board- 
man & Gray. Possessing decided talents as an inventor, Gray 
made many very interesting experiments, among which his isolated 
iron rim and frame and the corrugated soundboard are the most 
noteworthy. For a time he had great faith in the value of those 

James A. Gray 

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A. M. McPhail 

inventions. He even took a 
number of pianos containing 
the same to London for ex- 
hibition in 1850, but after a 
comparatively short time he 
discarded all of them, prefer- 
ring to build a fine piano 
along conventional lines. He 
educated his sons, James S. 
and William James, as thor- 
ough piano makers, and the 
time-honored firm maintains 
its reputation for high-class 
production to this date. Wil- 
liam Boardman, who re- 
tired at an early date from 
the firm, died January 5,1881, 
at the age of 81 years. James A. Gray took a more or less active 
part in the business until his death on December 11, 1889. His sons, 
William James Gray, born June 13, 1853, and James Stuart Gray, 
born September 7, 1857, are continuing the business with 

One of the pioneers who attempted to force civilization in its 
higher development upon the ** Far West " was William Bourne. 
He started a piano factory at Dayton, Ohio, in 1837, at a time 
when the savage Indian was still a ** near neighbor." Evidently 
Bourne did not find the expected encouragement at Dayton, and 
removed in 1840 to Cincinnati. Even here his art was not appre- 
ciated, and he therefore accepted in 1842 a position in the Chick- 
ering factory, where he remained until 1846, when he organized 
the firm of William Bourne & Company. A piano maker of the 

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old school, Bourne could turn 
out nothing but thoroughly 
first-class pianos. Since his 
death, in 1885, the business 
has been continued by his 
son, Charles H. Bourne. 

A. M. McPhail started 
his business in Boston in 
1837. Born at St. Andrews, 
New Brunswick, he came to 
Boston as a boy, and was 
apprenticed to the renowned 
piano maker, Gilbert. He 
learned to make pianos so 
well that he soon established 
a high reputation for his 
own product. He was a piano 
maker of the old school, who 

took pride in his work and considered the artistic success more 
than the commercial, although in his long career, from 1837 to 
1891, he met all of his obligations with never failing promptness. 
As a citizen he took a great interest in educational, artistic and 
musical affairs, and also served as representative in the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature. He retired in 1891, and died at Omaha, 
October 6, 1902. The business is carried on by the A. M. McPhail 
Company, a corporation. 

Among the many illustrious Germans who have done so much 
for the uplifting of the piano industry in New York, William 
Lindeman deserves particular credit for being the first who had 
the courage to combat successfully the unworthy prejudice and 
attitude of the people of his day toward the German element. 

William Lindeman 

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Google _ 



Born at Dresden, Germany, 
in 1795, where he also 
learned his art of piano mak- 
ing, Lindeman came to New 
York in 1834 and established 
his business in 1836. Al- 
though his pianos were of 
the highest order, success 
came slowly, but when his 
son Henry brought out his 
** Cycloid *' piano, a rather 
happy compromise between a 
grand and square piano, in 
1860, the firm secured a 
strong hold upon the piano- 
buying public. The Civil 
War interfered seriously 
with a more rapid develop- 
ment, and it was left to Henry to push the firm into the front rank. 
Henry Lindeman, born in New York on August 3, 1838, was 
admitted to partnership in 1857, and after the death of William 
Lindeman on December 24, 1875, assumed the management and 
continued the work of his father. Henry's son, Samuel G., was 
admitted in 1901, and the firm name of Henry and S. G. Lindeman 
was adopted. 

In 1838, shortly after Lindeman 's appearance in the arena^ 
Johann Heinrich Schumacher, who changed his name to John 
Henry Schomacker for expedience' sake, established himself in 
partnership with William Bossert in Philadelphia. Schomacker^ 
born in Schleswig-Hol stein on January 1, 1800, learned piano mak- 
ing in the master schools of Vienna. About 1830 he established 

Henry Lindeman 

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himself at Lalir, Bavaria, 
and came to America in 
1837. For one year he 
worked with E. N. Scherr, 
one of Philadelphia's best- 
known makers of those days. 
Schomacker was not only an 
excellent and thorough piano 
maker, but also a very force- 
ful man with almost bound- 
less ambition. His partner 
was conservative and per- 
fectly satisfied with a mod- 
erate income. Schomacker 
finally decided to go his own 
way, and the partnership 
was dissolved in 1842. With 
restless energy Schomacker 

first improved his pianos, and in 1845 he was awarded the silver 
medal of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia for the ** best '^ 
piano exhibited. At the American Institute Exhibition in New 
York in 1848, he received the first prize, a silver medal, in com- 
petition with a number of American pianos, and at the great 
World's Fair at the Crystal Palace in New York, in 1853, he carried 
off the gold medal. To meet the demands of his ever-growing busi- 
ness, he erected in 1855 the great factory which stands to-day at 
Catherine and Eleventh streets, Philadelphia. In 1856 he organ- 
ized his business into a close corporation under the title 
of Schomacker Piano Company. With his ambition satisfied, 
he quit the field of activity in 1872, and died on January 16, 

John Henrv Schomacker 

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Google _ 



His son, Henry C. Scho- 
macker, born in Philadelphia 
in May, 1840, ser\^ed his ap- 
prenticeship under his father 
and spent several years in 
Germany, studying under 
the leading masters. The 
company, under the able 
management of I. B. Wood- 
ford as president, and Henry 
C. Schomacker as secretary, 
is maintaining the glory of 
the old firm, producing most 
excellent pianos of the high- 
est order. 

While Lindeman in New 
York and Schomacker in 
Philadelphia earned laurels 
for the German school of 
piano making, William Knabe was busy preparing himself for his 
great career in Baltimore. Bom at Kreutzberg, Germany, in 1803, 
he received a superior education, intending to follow a learned pro- 
fession. When the time for ultimate decision came, William pre- 
ferred, however, to learn the art of piano making. He served the 
customary apprenticeship and acquired further experience while 
working for various masters in Germany. Coming to Baltimore in 
1833, he found an engagement with Henry Hartje, who had won 
quite a reputation as an inventor. Conservative and careful, Knabe 
waited until he had mastered the English language and had be- 
come thoroughly familiar with the business conditions of the new 
country. It was, therefore, not until 1839, that he ventured in 

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business, associating him- 
self with another German 
piano maker, Henry Gaehle, 
under the firm name of 
Knabe & Gaehle. The en- 
terprise was moderately 
successful and the associa- 
tion continued until 1854, 
when Gaehle withdrew. 
From that time on Knabe 
was able to demonstrate his 
exceptional ability as a 
piano maker and business 
man without hindrance. His 
pianos were second to none 
in the market, and he han- 
dled the commercial end of 
his business so cleverly 
that by 1860 his firm almost controlled the entire market 
of the southern States. The Civil War temporarily destroyed 
that market, and the firm of William Knabe & Company went 
through a trying period for over five years. Wearied from over- 
anxiety, care and worry, Knabe passed away in 1864, leaving the 
care of the great business, which he had founded and built up to 
magnificent proportions, to his sons, William and Ernest. Both 
had enjoyed a most liberal education and had been thol-oughly 
trained by their father in the art of piano making. William, being 
by nature of a quiet, retiring disposition, took upon himself the 
management of the factories, while Ernest assumed without any 
wavering the grave responsibilities as head of the house. When 
Ernest Knabe took the reins the outlook was very gloomy. Not 
only was their main market, the rich southern States, entirely 

Ernest Knabe 

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destroyed by the Civil War then raging, but their customers for 
the same reason could not meet their obligations. The work in 
the big factory, with its hundreds of employees, dragged along in 
an uncertain way and the day seemed to be near when the fac- 
tories would have to be temporarily closed. 

Ernest found a solution. He concluded to make a prolonged 
trip through the northern and western States which were not so 
seriously affected by the war, determined to establish agencies 
for the sale of his pianos in this new territory. Money had to 
be provided to meet the weekly payroll during his absence. He 
boldly went to his bank and asked for a credit of $20,000 for the 
term of six months. Considering the critical times, such a demand 
upon a bank in the city of Baltimore was almost preposterous, 
and when finally the banker asked Ernest what security he had to 
offer and the reply came, "Nothing but the name of Knabe," the 
banker shook his head and told the young man that he would sub- 
mit the proposition to his board of directors. They decided thajt 
imder existing conditions the loan could not be made. When 
delivering this ultimatum to young Ernest, the banker questioned 
him as to what he could or would do. Knabe answered promptly, 
* ' I shall go down to my factory and tell my employees that I am 
compelled to discharge them all because your bank refused a loan 
to which I am entitled," then took his hat and left the banker to 
his own contemplations. Before he reached his factory office a 
messenger from the bank had arrived there with a letter from 
the president, stating that the account of Knabe & Company had 
been credited with $20,000, to be drawn against as wanted. 

Ernest did not go back to the bank, but packed his trunk and 
went on his journey. Within two months he had sold enough 
I)ianos and opened up sufficient connections to keep his factories 
busy to their limit, and when he returned home he called on his 
banker to thank him for the loan, of which his firm had not been 

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obliged to use a single dollar. Ernest Knabe knew that just at 
that time the banks of Baltimore could not afford to have the 
doors of the city's greatest industrial establishment closed and 
hundreds of men thrown out of employment, for lack of funds, 
and he won out against the timid and shortsighted banker. 

An era of great activity now commenced for the firm of Knabe 
& Company. A branch house was opened in New York, and later 
one in Washington. Ernest Knabe designed new scales for con- 
cert grands and upright pianos. Additional factories were built 
and equipped with the best of modern machinery, in order to pro- 
duce pianos in keeping with the reputation of the firm as leaders 
in the industry. Wherever the Knabe pianos have been exhibited 
they were invariably awarded high prizes for superior construc- 
tion and workmanship, notably so at the great Centennial Expo- 
sition in Philadelphia in 1876, where their large concert-grand 
piano was greatly admired. Leading virtuosos like D 'Albert, Saint- 
Saens and many others used the Knabe grand pianos in their con- 
certs and were enthusiastic in their praise of the Knabe tone 

A princely entertainer, Ernest Knabe was an enthusiastic lover 
of music. He would often take the noon train from Baltimore to 
New. York, consult with his New York manager while eating din- 
ner, go to the opera to hear Sembrich, Lehmann or Niemann sing, 
or attend a Rosenthal or Joseffy concert, return by midnight train 
to Baltimore and appear the following morning bright and early 
at the factory or city warerooms to take up the every-day routine 
of work. He was an indefatigable worker and seemed never to 
tire. Of a most genial disposition, warm-hearted, helpful, he was 
adored by his workmen and beloved by all who knew him. 

In the midst of the greatest developments misfortune came 
upon the house. William Knabe died suddenly in January, 1889, 
at the early age of 48. This sad event doubled the burdens of 

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Ernest and he succumbed to the inevitable result of over-exertion 
on April 16, 1894. Ernest Knabe had ever been one of the strong 
pillars of the piano industry, on intimate terms with his competi- 
tors, enjoying the close friendship of William Steinway, Albert 
Weber and other leaders. He left a gap which could not easily 
be filled. The great business was turned into a corporation which 
finally joined the American Piano Company, under whose care 
the traditions of the house are reverently safeguarded. 

Among the historic Boston firms, the Hallet & Davis Piano 
Company can trace its origin to the year 1835, when Brown & 
Hallet started in business. Brown was a graduate of the Chick- 
ering factory and obtained several patents for improvements. He 
retired from the firm in 1843, and his place was taken by George 
H. Davis, the firm changing to Hallet, Davis & Company, under 
which title it continued with more or less success. After the death 
of George H. Davis on December 1, 1879, the business was incor- 
porated. Under the management of E. N. Kimball as president, 
C. C. Conway, treasurer, and E. E. Conway as secretary, the con- 
cern has recovered its old-time prestige and is counted among the 
most progressive of the present day. 

During the decade from 1830 to 1840 a coterie of piano makers 
lived at Albany, whose influence upon the piano industry of 
America has been of a lasting character. John Osborn came from 
Boston in 1829 and made pianos for Meacham & Company, dealers 
in musical instruments. F. P. Burns studied under Osborn in 
Meacham 's shop, which probably was the first piano factory west 
of New York City. Henry Hazel ton came from New York to work 
for Boardman & Gray. James H. Grovesteen, founder of Grove- 
steen, Fuller & Company of New York, came to Albany in 1839 
and started to make pianos in 1840. A. C. James, later of James 
& Holmstrom, New York, learned piano making in Grovesteen 's 
shop and, after working for Boardman & Gray, became a member 

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of the firm of Marshall, 
James & Traver, later known 
as Marshall & Wendell. 
Myron A. Decker was also 
one of the Albany pioneers 
with George Gomph, P. 
Reed and others. F. Frick- 
inger made pianos in 1837, 
but soon after started action 
making as a specialty. His 
business is continued by 
Grubb & Kosegarten Broth- 
ers at Nassau, N. Y. 

Francis Putnam Burns, 
born at Galway, New York, 
on February 6, 1807, learned 
cabinetmaking and studied 
piano making under the 

genial John Osborn. In 1835 he commenced business on his 
own account. Of an artistic temperament and an excellent me- 
chanic, he would never permit piecework in his shop, impressing 
his workmen with the idea that a piano is a work of art, requiring 
the most painstaking efforts, without regard to time consumed in 
its construction. While producing most elegant and durable 
pianos. Burns did not accumulate wealth, and when the Civil War 
prostrated business he could not stand the strain. His son Edward 
M. Burns, who was serving as a commissioned officer in the army, 
coming home disabled for further activity in the field, had to as- 
sume the management of the business. Although the United States 
Government retained him in military service for 18 months 
after peace was declared and desired his further service 

Francia Putnam Burns 

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in the army, young Burns 
felt that filial duty de- 
manded his devotion to his 
father's business. He picked 
up the remnants of the once 
flourishing business, injected 
new life and not only suc- 
^^^^^ ceeded in maintaining the 

I ^^i^^^^^^_ ^^^^ reputation of the pi- 

anos, but had the great satis- 
faction of squaring all the 
old obligations in a most 
honorable manner. It was a 
loss to the piano industry of 
Albany when Edward M. 
Burns retired in 1869 to seek 
more remunerative activity 
in another field. 
A man who for over 60 years can enjoy the respect and friend- 
ship of his competitors in business must be a strong character, with 
a lovable disposition. Such was Henry Hazelton, born in New 
York City iii'l'816. He served a seven years' apprenticeship with 
Dubois '&*'Stodart, being released in 1831. Soon thereafter he 
joined the Albany colony, and in 1840 started the firm of Hazelton, 
Talbot & Lyon. Not fulfilling his expectations at Albany, Hazelton 
returned to New York and joined his brother Frederick, under the 
firm name of F. & H. Hazelton, in 1850. Later on a younger 
brother, John, was admitted to partnership and the firm name 
changed to Hazelton Brothers. All three brothers were artisans 
of high order, who eschewed commercial tactics, depending for 
ultimate success entirely upon the high quality of their product, 

Ilenrv Hazelton 

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and to this date the firm has 
a strong hold upon New 
York's Knickerbocker aris- 
tocracy as a clientele, in 
whose circles grandmother's 
jDiano bears the name of 
Hazelton. After the death 
of the founders, the business 
came under sole control of 
Samuel Hazelton, who had 
enjoyed a thorough training 
with his uncles and was made 
a member of the firm in 1881. 
He is ably assisted by his 
son Halsey in maintaining 
the traditions of the re- 
spected firm. 

Toward the close of the 
18th century a Vienna piano maker in his wandering arrived 
at Naples, Italy. Somehow attracted by the place, he made 
it his home and began to make pianos, which found favor wifli 
the court, and young Fischer was appointed ** Piano maker to 
King Ferdinand I, of Naples." He taught his art to his son, 
who afterward studied for a number of years with Vienna mas- 
ters, and upon his return to Naples continued the father's 
business. His two sons, John U. and Charles S. Fischer, fol- 
lowed in the footsteps of father and grandfather, becoming 
expert piano makers. The inborn '^ wanderlust " of the Fischers 
landed these two young men in New York City in 1839. Taking at 
once employment with William Nunns, they became his partners 
soon thereafter under the firm name of Nunns & Fischer. Nunns 

Charles S. Fischer 

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retired in 1840, and the firm 
was changed to J. & C. 
Fischer. Building a reliable 
piano, they soon accumulated 
great wealth, and in 1873 
John U. Fischer retired with 
a competency, to spend the 
rest of his days in his home- 
land, Italy. Charles S. then 
admitted his four sons, who 
had been thoroughly trained 
in all branches of the busi- 
ness, to partnership. The 
vigorous activity of the 
young men, under the wise 
guidance of their father, 
brought them rapidly to the 
front as great producers, in- 
creasing their yearly output to 5,000 pianos, at the same time 
studiously improving the quality. In 1907 the firm was changed to 
a corporation. 

Hugh Hardman, who was born at Liverpool, England, in 
1815, came to the United States and began to make pianos in 
New York City in 1840. His son John was admitted to part- 
nership about 1874. This firm was among the first to manufacture 
good commercial upright pianos, and met with distinctive success. 
In 1880 Leopold Peck bought an interest in the firm, the name 
being changed to Hardman, Peck & Company. Under Peck's 
able management the firm has risen to a recognized position among 
the makers of high-grade pianos, their instruments ranking among 
the best in the market. 

Frederick P. Stieff 

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To change from teaching 
music and languages to deal- 
ing in pianos, and finally to 
become the founder of one of 
the largest and most re- 
spected piano manufacturing 
firms, was the career of 
Charles M. Stieflf. Born in 
Wurtemburg on July 19, 
1805, Stieflf was educated at 
Stuttgart. In 1831 he emi- 
grated to America and set- 
tled at Baltimore, where he 
took the chair in Haspert's 
school as professor of lan- 
guages and also acted as 
leader of a church choir. In 
1842 he imported his first 

pianos from Germany, and opened regular piano warerooms on 
Liberty Street in 1843. Observing the success of the various piano 
manufacturers in Baltimore, Stieflf undertook an extensive trip to 
Europe in 1852, studying the methods of the best piano manufac- 
turers there. Upon his return he admitted his sons into partner- 
ship and started the manufacture of the ** Stieflf " piano, intrust- 
ing the management of the factory to Jacob Gross, an expert piano 
maker of the old school. 

Born in Wurtemburg on July 26, 1819, Gross learned his trade 
in Stuttgart and afterward worked in some of the leading fac- 
tories of Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Paris. Coming to 
America in 1848, he familiarized himself with the methods pre- 
vailing here and joined his brother-in-law, Stieflf, in 1856. It was 
an excellent combination, the professional musician and business- 

Jacob Gross 

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man, Stieff, supported by the 
artistic piano maker and fac- 
tory expert, Gross. The 
product of the firm was at 
once accepted as of superior 
merit and received distin- 
guished awards wherever ex- 
hibited. The founder of the 
firm having passed to the un- 
known beyond, the business 
is carried on most success- 
fully by his sons, Charles 
and Frederick P. Stieff, the 
technical management of the 
factories being in the hands 
of Charles J. Gross, who was 
educated by his father, the 
late Jacob Gross. It was re- 
markable that the great fire which destroyed nearly the entire busi- 
ness portion of the city of Baltimore in 1904 should stop short in its 
northward flight on the wall of the Stieff building, on North Lib- 
erty Street, just as if it had had respect for this landmark where the 
Stieffs had sold pianos for 63 years. The firm of Charles M. Stieff 
distributes its products almost entirely through its own stores, 
which are to be found in every prominent city of the southern 
States, as well as at Boston and elsewhere. 

Following the chronological order, we find that Christian 
Kurtzmann established a piano factory in Buffalo in 1848. After 
his death in 1886, the business was taken over by a corpo- 

William P. Emerson, who started in Boston in 1849, had perhaps 
more business acumen than mechanical talent and artistic inclina- 

Christian Kurtzmann 

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tions. He started to make a 
low-priced instrument and 
built up a very large and 
profitable business within a 
few years. In 1854 he en- 
gaged C. C. Briggs, an ex- 
pert piano maker of stand- 
ing, to improve the piano, 
which was accomplished 
with such success that a 
reputation for superior qual- 
ity was soon established 
and the name of Emerson 
became a valuable trade- 
mark. Emerson died in 
1871, and the business came 
into possession of William 
tMoore, who sold his interest 
in 1879 to P. H. Powers, 0. A. Kimball and J. Gramer. They 
organized the Emerson Piano Company, with Patrick H. Powers 
as president. Under his able management the business grew to 
commanding proportions. The product was continually im- 
proved to maintain its position as a high-class instrument, and 
the company enjoyed an enviable reputation for integrity and 

P. H. Powers retired from active management in 1910, at the 
age of 84, after a most distinguished career as a business man, 
covering a period of 60 years. He is succeeded in the presidency 
by Edward S. Payson, who assisted Powers for many years as 
acting secretary of the company. 

In the old town of Milton, where Crehore built his first piano, 
James Whiting Vose was born, on October 21, 1818. Learning the 

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cabinetmaker's trade, he 
soon became a piano maker, 
getting his experience in 
various Boston factories. 
In 1851 he made his first 
piano, and laid the founda- 
tion for a business which is 
counted among the leaders of 
the American piano indus- 
try. Educating his three 
sons in all branches of the 
business, he admitted them 
to partnership and changed 
the name to Vose & Sons. 
In 1889 the concern was in- 
corporated, the stock being 
owned by the Vose family. 
James W. Vose served as 
first president of the Vose & Sons' Piano Company for a number of 
years. After his retirement his eldest son, Willard A. Vose, suc- 
ceeded him as president and manager, with marked ability, main- 
taining and improving the distinguished standing of the Vose 

One of the most interesting characters in the history of Ameri- 
can piano makers is Napoleon «T. Haines. Bom in London in 1824, 
he came to New York when eight years of age. He made the trip 
across the Atlantic alone with his younger brother Francis. His 
father, who had preceded the boys to New York, had paid the 
ship's steward thirty dollars to assure good meals for the young- 
sters. Napoleon, aware of that fact, objected to the poor coffee 
and ** hard tack " with which the steward regaled the boys, throw- 
ing the stuff overboard and demanding ** something fit to eat." 


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He caused such a disturb- 
ance that the captain was 
called, who promptly sided 
with the rebellious boy and 
admonished the steward to 
do his duty henceforth. It 
is said that young Haines 
after his arrival in New 
York, not from necessity, but 
from his desire to make 
headway, earned money as a 
bootblack after school hours. 
Whether that is true or not, 
young Napoleon certainly 
always demonstrated a rest- 
less disposition and a desire 
to advance. At the age of ^^"^"^ ^^"^^^^"^ ^^^ 

fifteen he apprenticed himself and brother to the New York 
Piano Manufacturing Company, learning all branches of the art. 
In 1851 he started in business with his brother under the firm 
name of Haines Brothers. Beginning with an output of two pianos 
per month, their business soon assumed large proportions, so that 
the erection of a factory, with a capacity of 20 pianos per week, 
became necessary in 1856. 

Napoleon J. Haines was a thorough piano maker, whose name 
is also on record as an inventor in the United States Patent Office, 
but, besides that, he was a born financier and shrewd business 
man. One of the founders of the Union Dime Savings Bank of 
New York, he served as vice-president and president of that great 
institution for 21 years. Napoleon J. Haines died April 19, 1900. 
The business has been merged with that of the American Piano 

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Company, under whose aus- 
pices the Haines Brothers 
piano is produced in larger 
quantities than ever. 

Real genius always leaves 
an indelible mark in its 
sphere of activity, and its 
influence is as lasting as it 
is permeating at the time 
of its birth. To observe a 
man rising from the lowest 
rung of the ladder to the 
height of a most promi- 
nent manufacturer, educat- 
ing himself meanwhile to 
become a musician of ac- 
knowledged talent and ver- 
satility, handling complex financial problems with masterly 
daring and withal acquiring a position of social influ- 
ence, requires a combination of talents, an exercise of will- 
power and self-denial seldom found. Albert Weber, born in 
Bavaria July 8, 1828, landed in New York when 16 years of age. 
Endowed with a liberal education, he had a good knowledge of 
music, playing the organ efficiently. Attracted to the art of piano 
making, he went through a regular apprenticeship with Master 
Holden of New York, and later worked in the celebrated shop of 
Van Winkle. To pay his board, young Weber gave music lessons 
evenings, and played the organ at church on Sundays. When 23 
years of age he started in business with a very small capital. Fire 
destroyed his shop during the third year of his existence as a 
piano manufacturer. Nothing daunted, he rented much larger 

Napoleon J. Haines 

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quarters and within a short 
time acquired a leading posi- 
tion among the piano firms 
of New York City. His en- 
ergy and ambition knew no 
bounds. In 1869 he opened 
extensive warerooms at 
Fifth Avenue and Sixteenth 
Street, a move which aston- 
ished his competitors by its 
very boldness. Weber had 
invaded the abode of New 
York swelldom, with charac- 
teristic foresight, judging 
the future importance of 

^,. ^, .n Albert Weber 

this thoroughfare as a cen- 
ter of fashionable establishments. With this move his aggressive 
campaign for supremacy in the piano world commenced. 

Although not given to inventing or creating anything new in 
piano construction, Weber was such a thorough piano maker, and 
perfect performer on the piano, that he knew how to utilize the 
best-proven methods of construction. He would engage at any 
cost the best workmen, the best talent to be found among piano 
makers, neither would he spare any expense or reckon the cost 
of any real improvement in the tone or general quality of his 
pianos. He inspired his men to take pride in their work. The result 
was that he produced pianos which were acknowledged second to 
none, and preferred by many leading virtuosos, especially by 
opera singers, for their sympathetic musical tone. 

Because of his acute and musically trained hearing he succeeded 
in producing in his pianos, through his expert workmen, what he 

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proudly called the *^ Weber tone.*' To listen to his playing for a 
prospective customer was a treat indeed, and seldom would an 
intending buyer leave his warerooms without having secured a 
piano. The man's enthusiasm, the real love for his piano was 
so intense, so genuine that he impressed the same on every person 
who would listen to his playing. Well read, a keen observer of men 
and things, Weber was a most interesting entertainer. His ready 
wit became proverbial and oftentimes served to clear unpleasant 
situations. For example, when during the strike of the journey- 
men for higher wages, shorter hours, etc., a committee of the work- 
men met with the assembled manufacturers, submitting their most 
unreasonable demands, the latter were dumbfounded by the bold- 
ness of the men. Weber broke the silence, complimented the men, 
arguing that it was their privilege to ask for all that they might 
want, but in his opinion they had not asked enough — they had for- 
gotten to ask for free Saturday afternoons with full pay, so that 
they could play tenpins, the bosses to pay for the beer and set up 
the pins for the men. With this remark he took his hat and left 
the conference. The strike was called off. With his timely sar- 
casm Weber had shown the men the ridiculousness of their de- 
mands and had turned the embarrassing conference into a merry 

Many pertinent anecdotes could be cited to illustrate the quick- 
working mind of this remarkable man. He had one serious short- 
coming, however, which finally caused his untimely end. Cease- 
lessly planning to extend his business and enlarge his personal 
influence, Weber did not surround himself with sufficient competent 
assistants who could relieve him from dreary detail work, and con- 
sequently the management of his great factory, of the wholesale 
and retail departments, all of the financial affairs— in short, every 
detail of his great business— rested upon his shoulders. Working 

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from morning nutil evening at his business, he would attend opera, 
theaters and clubs at night. Being of a decidedly Bohemian tem- 
perament, he enjoyed the gay life of New York among brilliant 
men and women, but the everlasting strain was too much, even for 
this nervy man, and he succumbed, at the age of 50, on June 25, 
1879, to the overtaxing of his brain and body. 

The great business which he has founded, the great name which 
he made for his piano, are becomingly perpetuated by the Weber 
Piano Company, a corporation aflSliated with the Aeolian Company 
of New York. The fame of the Weber piano has extended to all 
the art centers of the globe to such an extent that the erection of 
a mammoth factory in London has become a necessity, in order 
to supply the ever-growing foreign trade. The name of Albert 
Weber will live, as long as pianos are built in America, as 
one of the great leaders who believed in the artistic mission of 
the instrument and impressed this belief upon the mind of the 

History teaches that hardships, adverse conditions and trying 
circumstances are the making of great men. Henry Engelhardt 
Steinweg's career is a confirmation of this doctrine. Born at 
Wolfshagen, Germany, as the twelfth child of a strong mother 
and a respectable father on February 5, 1797, he had to pass during 
his youth through all the miseries and privations brought upon a 
people by protracted warfare. Napoleon's hordes devastated Ger- 
many, burned up the Steinweg home and killed several of his 
brothers in battle. To fill his cup of misery he finally lost his 
father and remaining brothers in an accident, from which he alone 
escaped as by a miracle, and found himself an orphan at the age 
of 15, without home or shelter. 

At 18 years of age he was drafted for the army and took part 
in the battle of Waterloo. Returning from the field of battle, 
he found the soldier's life in the barracks very dreary, to coun- 

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teract which he managed to 
build a zither, upon which he 
would play the patriotic 
songs of the time accom- 
panied by the voices of his 
soldier comrades. Having 
never handled tools nor re- 
ceived even elementary in- 
struction in music, his ac- 
complishment in making and 
playing the zither clearly 
pointed to the road which he 
was to travel to achieve 
fame and wealth. 

Having served his time 
in the army, he sought em- 
ployment with a cabinet- 
maker, but being then 21 
years of age, and engaged to a lovely girl, he did not cherish 
the idea of serving a five-year apprenticeship as the guild 
of cabinetmakers demanded. He wanted to learn the use of 
tools to build musical instruments, and we find him, there- 
fore, soon in the shop of an organ builder at Seesen, where 
he also filled the jilace of organist in the village church. In 1825 
he married the woman of his heart, and his wedding present was 
the first piano built by Steinweg's own hands. It was a fine 
instrument, which soon found a purchaser. Constructing pianos, 
earning his daily bread by repairing organs and all kinds of 
musical instruments, Steinweg prospered, and in 1839 exhibited at 
the fair of Brunswick one grand and two square pianos of his 
own make. The great composer, Albert Methfessel, played on 
these instruments and, as chairman of the jury, recommended that 

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the highest prize, a gold medal, should be awarded to Steinweg for 
his superior instruments. It is said that the Duke of Brunswick 
bought the grand piano, paying therefor the large price of 3,000 

Steinweg 's reputation as a master piano builder was now estab- 
lished and he had to employ workmen to fill the orders which he 
received. His sons, Theodore, Charles and Henry, joined him in 
business as they grew to maturity and the prospects for the future 
looked very bright, when suddenly adversity came again through 
the political upheaval and revolution of 1848 and 1849, which 
paralyzed business all over Germany. The second son, Charles, 
had been during this excitement rather active in the ranks of the 
progressives, or revolutionists, and found himself compelled to flee 
as soon as the people's cause was lost. He escaped to Switzerland 
and went by way of Paris and London to New York, where he 
landed in May, 1849. 

Charles sent such glowing reports regarding the possibilities 
for the family in the new world as compared with their homeland, 
and urged their coming to America so strongly and persistently 
that the entire Steinweg family, except Theodore, engaged passage 
on the steamer Helene Sloman from Hamburg, which landed them 
at New York on June 9, 1851. Instead of venturing into business 
at once, Henry E. Steinweg wisely chose first to gain practical 
knowledge of the language and business methods of the new world. 
He and his sons accepted employment in different piano factories. 
For two years the three men gathered experience, and on March 5, 
1853, the firm of Steinway & Sons started on its brilliant career. 
The very first step in that direction, the changing of the name from 
Steinweg to Steinway, showed not only the business sagacity of 
Henry E. Steinway, but also the strong faith which he had in his 
ability to build a better piano than known at that time. Hence 

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he wanted a distinct trade-mark, which could not be imitated, even 
if his pianos should be. 

From the beginning the firm of Steinway & Sons was a happy 
combination of various talents, making success imperative. Henry 
E. Steinway was an experienced piano maker and careful busi- 
ness man. His son Charles managed the factory, for which he was 
eminently fitted. A fine mechanic, he possessed a highly devel- 
oped sense for exactness and systematic organization, while the 
younger son Henry was a genius as an inventor, a good musician 
and a splendid mixer with artists, professionals and literary men. 

At the Metropolitan Fair, held at Washington, D. C, March, 
1854, Steinway & Sons exhibited a square piano and received a 
prize medal, but their great triumph came at the great fair of 
the American Institute in New York in 1855, where their over- 
strung square piano with full iron frame created a sensation in 
the piano world. As a result their business expanded so rapidly 
that in 1859 the erection of that mammoth factory on Fifty-third 
Street and Fourth Avenue, New York, became a necessity. Henry 
E. Steinway planned the factory and superintended its building. 
It is said that he would not permit a beam or rafter in the entire 
structure which contained a single knot or showed the least im- 
perfection. The precision of the master builder dominated in what- 
ever he did ! 

Gradually he permitted his sons to assume the responsibilities 
of managing the affairs of the great business. Successful beyond 
his fondest dreams in his enterprise, Henry E. Steinway had to 
bear the deep sorrow of losing his faithful co-workers and beloved 
sons, Charles and Henry, in the prime of their manhood. This 
great bereavement, together with the advancing years, began to 
bear upon that strong character, who had fought the battle of life 
so valiantly, and, after planning and superintending the erection 
of Steinway Hall in 1866, he retired more and more from active 

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participation, going to his 
rest on February 7, 1871, at 
the age of 74. Beloved by 
all who knew him, respected 
by the community and fa- 
mous as an inventor and 
manufacturer in the entire 
civilized world, a self-made 
man who had to wring suc- 
cess from fate's unwilling 
hand under most trying con- 
ditions, Henry Engelhardt 
Steinway's name will ever 
be revered. 

His eldest son, C.F.Theo- 
dore Steinway, was one of 
those who show great bril- 
liancy in their youth, but 
whose genius then lies dormant for a number of years, to break out 
with irresistible force after middle life, astonishing the world with 
their accomplishments. At the age of 14 Theodore was an accom- 
plished pianist, so much so that he was given the task of showing off 
his father's pianos at the Brunswick Fair in 1839. Enjoying the 
advantages offered by the Jacobsohn College at Seesen, a celebrated 
institute of learning, he studied acoustics under Dr. Ginsberg, who 
took great interest in the brilliant boy, in return for which Theodore 
built the models needed by Dr. Ginsberg for demonstration in his 
lectures on acoustics. This intimate relation to the scientist in his 
youth prevented Theodore from ever becoming a mere empiric. 
It was the cause of the restless search he later so forcibly demon- 
strated for the scientific laws underlying the construction of the 
pianoforte. After going through college, he went to work at the 

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bench in his father's shop, and, when the family sailed for New 
York in 1851, he was charged with winding up the affairs of busi- 
ness and following the family. Fate decreed otherwise. He met 
the only maid whom he would marry, stayed at Seesen and con- 
tinued the business founded by his father. Success crowned his 
efforts, and seeking a larger field he removed his piano factory 
to Brunswick in 1859, where he built up a substantial business. 
However, when his brothers, Charles and Henry, died, filial duty 
demanded that he should assist his father in New York. He sold 
his business to three of his most able workmen and became a part- 
ner in the firm of Steinway & Sons, New York. Theodore took 
charge of the construction department, and commenced those revo- 
lutionary improvements which have made the Steinway a synonym 
of perfection in piano building. 

Theodore's inventive and constructive genius had for all these 
years been tethered by the every-day care of managing all de- 
partments of his Brunswick factory. Freed now, with unlimited 
capital, an excellent factory organization and the most expert 
workmen at his command, Theodore Steinway had opportunity sel- 
dom offered. He made the best use of it. Step by step he invaded 
the fields of modern science, investigating and testing different 
kinds of wood in order to ascertain why one kind or another was 
best adapted for piano construction, then taking up the study of 
metallurgy, to find a proper alloy for casting iron plates which 
would stand the tremendous strain of 75,000 pounds of the new 
concert-grand piano that was already born in his mind, calling 
chemistry to his aid to establish the scientific basis for felts, glue, 
varnish, oils, — in short, nothing in the realm of science having any 
bearing on piano construction was overlooked. Having thus laid 
his foundation, he returned to Germany to be near Helmholtz and 
benefit by that great savant's epoch-making discoveries. It was 
but natural that in time he became an intimate friend of 

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Helmholtz, and the world was benefited by that friendship. 
Theodore made Brunswick his home again, going to New York 
at regular intervals to superintend the execution of his inventions. 
At his Tusculum in Brunswick he had one of the most complete 
collections of musical instruments of every character, ancient and 
modern, and he knew the characteristics of each so well that it was 
a treat to listen to him whenever he was in the mood to show and 
talk about his gems. To widen his horizon of knowledge, he trav- 
eled extensively, meeting the shining lights of science, art and 
literature wherever he went. Germany was just then in its great- 
est period of scientific, artistic and industrial Renaissance. Theo- 
dore profited greatly, being a keen observer, and he set to work 
to bring to life in his piano the discoveries of Helmholtz, Tjmdall 
and others. The crowning result was his Centennial concert-grand 
piano, with the duplex scale, bent-rim case, cupola iron plate and 
improved action which would lift that heavy hammer made of 23- 
pound felt by the slightest touch of the key, setting the strings, 
which were of a length and thickness heretofore unknown, in 

Theodore was an intense and enthusiastic worker. Once en- 
gaged upon a problem, he knew no limit of time. The author has 
often discussed problems of piano building with him, the experi- 
mental piano before us, until the early morning hours. Physically 
and mentally very forceful, imbued with quiet Teutonic strength, 
he aimed to create a piano which would respond to the demands 
of the modern dynamic compositions of a Liszt, Wagner or Rubin- 
stein, and would, orchestra-like, fill the large modern concert hall 
to its remotest comers. He accomplished this object without 
sacrificing that desired nobility of singing tone quality. 

While Theodore Steinway has not created anything positively 
new in piano construction, he revolutionized piano making and 
all auxiliary industries by forcing the acceptance of scientific 

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methods upon all who desired 
to stay in the progressive 
march. He demonstrated to 
what extent science can aid 
in the development of the pi- 
ano by his own productions, 
and thus broke the path for 
the enormous development of 
the industry during the past 
30 years. This is more than 
all the empirics have ever 
done. Theodore Steinway 
died at Brunswick, March 
26, 1889. 

Compensation is one of 
the inexorable laws of na- 
ture. Great results can only 
be achieved by great efforts and corresponding sacrifice. 
Steinway & Sons had to pay their tribute to the law of compen- 
sation ! 

Charles Steinway, born on January 1, 1829, was one of those 
silent workers who fill most important places in the world of 
activity. Of a modest and retiring disposition, wrapped up in 
his arduous duties of organizing and managing the ever-growing 
factories, Charles knew no bounds for his labors. He simply ex- 
hausted himself and died at the early age of 36 on March 31, 1865, 
leaving behind him as his monument the piano factory par excel- 
lence, a foundation for Theodore and William to build upon, with- 
out which neither one of these two great men could have achieved 
their triumphs. 

Charles Steinway 

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Henry Steinway, Jr., 
born on March 27, 1831, also 
paid the penalty for too in- 
tense application to the fur- 
therance of ambitious plans. 
Naturally of a highly artis- 
tic, nervous temperament, 
Henry devoted himself to 
the nerve-racking activity of 
inventing improvements, and 
the patent records speak 
loudly for his great achieve- 
ments. Seeking food for his 
restless brain — enlighten- 
ment as to the demands of 
the artist — Henry was at 
night-time a studious citizen ^^**"^ steinway 

of Bohemia, and during the day nervously at work on his drawing- 
board. Burning the candle of life thus brightly at both ends, it 
could not last long, and the talented young man died on March 11, 
1865, aged only 34 years. 

This great calamity of losing the two brothers within three 
weeks' time threw the entire burden of managing the great busi- 
ness upon young William, the aged father having gradually with- 
drawn from active assistance. William Steinway was born at 
Seesen on March 5, 1835, at a time when the Steinway family was 
enjoying prosperity and father and mother were in their prime. 
He was a strong, healthy boy, physically and mentally. Like his 
brother Theodore he attended the Jacobsohn College, but unlike 
Theodore devoted himself to the study of langua.2:es and music 
proper, rather than listening to dreary lectures on acoustics. 

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At the age of 14 he had a 
good command of English 
and French, played the piano 
acceptably and had such 
a musical ear that he could 
tune a three-stringed grand 
piano to perfection. When 
the family arrived in New 
York, William was offered 
the choice of studying music, 
for which he had shown pro- 
nounced talent, or learning 
piano making. He chose the 
latter and was at once ap- 
prenticed to William Nunns 
& Company, one of the best- 
known New York piano firms 
of that time. As soon as his 
father started in business William joined him, and worked for sev- 
eral years at the bench, until the commercial end of the business 
demanded closest attention. William was by unanimous agreement 
chosen as the head of the financial and commercial departments of 
the firm. It was his proper sphere and furnished another illustra- 
tion of the keen judgment of Henry E. Steinway, Sr. He placed 
each of his sons where his particular talents might produce the best 

Being only 29 years of age when called upon to manage an 
establishment of enormous proportions, AVilliam did not waver. 
With the grit and determination inherited from his father, he 
began to plan greater extensions. Theodore was building pianos, 
William had to sell them. His pet scheme, a great concert hall, 

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was soon carried out — Steinway Hall was opened in 1867 by Theo- 
dore Thomas' orchestra, with S. B. Mills as soloist at the piano. 
The opening of this hall was the inauguration of a new era in the 
musical life of America. Anton Rubinstein, Annette Essipoff, 
Teresa Carreno, Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler, Rafael Joseffy, Eu- 
gene D 'Albert, Leopold Damrosch and Anton Seidl made their 
bows to select audiences from the platform of Steinway Hall. 
William Steinway knew that the American people needed musical 
education. He provided it, and no one man has done as much for 
musical culture, or has inspired the love for art among the Ameri- 
can people, as William Steinway. 

Supporting Theodore Thomas' great orchestra, so that it 
might make its celebrated journeys through the entire country 
(and without the aid of Steinway this would have been impossible), 
William by most liberal offers induced leading European virtuosos 
to come on concert tours to America. He was the ever-helping 
friend to young students and teachers. His inborn liberality would 
often let the heart be master of better judgment, but he never 
legretted his acts of benevolence, even if sometimes repaid with 
base ingratitude. 

To the astonishment and chagrin of the older and more con- 
servative houses in the piano trade, William started an aggressive 
and heretofore unheard-of advertising campaign. As a competent 
judge he knew that his factories turned out the best pianos that 
could possibly be made, and he was bent not only on letting the 
world know it, but on making the world believe it, as he did. This 
was revolutionary, even shocking, but William persisted until he 
carried his point. 

Having established the fame of his piano in America beyond 
dispute, William looked for other worlds to conquer, and opened 
a branch house in the city of London about the year 1875. Stein- 
way Hall in London was formally opened in 1876. In 1880 the 

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Hamburg factories were started, to supply the ever-growing Euro- 
pean trade. 

While thus engaged in building up this great market for the 
products of the factories, William fostered ambitions in other 
directions. He wanted to see the name of Steinway on the map 
of New York; and with that end in view he bought 400 acres of 
land on the Long Island Sound in 1880, and there created the town 
of Steinway. Starting with the erection of a sawmill and iron 
foundry, in course of time the case and action factories were 
erected, and since 1910 the entire piano works of Steinway & Sons 
have been located at Steinway, L. I., New York. 

William Steinway was a strong man in every sense of the word. 
As a young man he was counted among the invincible athletes of 
the German Turn Verein, and even in his later years it was one 
of his pleasantries to compare muscular strength with friends. 
To say that mentally he was a giant is no exaggeration. Who- 
ever can contemplate the multitude of details, aside from the 
larger schemes, to which William Steinway paid closest attention, 
the complex financial problems which confronted him in times of 
business depression, the demands made upon his time by artists, 
members of the press, etc., must wonder how he could pay any 
attention to society or public affairs. Yet we find that he was 
often called upon to lead a movement in politics or municipal 
affairs, to which he would respond with unwonted energy and 
ability. For 14 years he acted as president of the Liederkranz, 
the leading German singing society of New York. He was director 
in several banks and an active member of leading clubs. Broad- 
minded and liberal to a degree, William Steinway could always 
look far beyond Steinway Hall when danger threatened the 
piano industry or a helping hand could be extended for uplifting. 
It is unfortunate that history never will record his manly and 
heroic actions in the interest of the entire piano industry of 

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America during the dark 
days of the great panics of 
1893 and 1896. He stood 
like the Rock of Gibraltar 
against the waves of de- 
struction rampant in those 
days, and by his great in- 
fluence in financial circles, 
his sound judgment and 
counsel, protected the credit 
and fair name of the indus- 
try, often by timely action 
preventing impending disas- 
ter to worthy firms. He ap- 
plied himself with such in- 
tensity and abandon to his 

duties that even his won- Albert Steinway 

derfuUy robust constitution had to give way under the protracted 
strain and exertion. He died prematurely on November 30, 1896, 
a martyr of conscientious devotion to duty as he saw it. Carl 
Schurz delivered the funeral oration and New York was in 

The youngest son of Henry Engelhardt, Albert Steinway, born 
on June 10, 1840, like his brothers had chosen piano making as his 
life work, and after the death ot Charles assumed the manage- 
ment of the factories. He made the application of machinery for 
manufacturing, modem heating and lighting systems his special 
study and thus kept the Steinway factories in the front rank of 
progressive industrial establishments. The development of the 
village of Steinway was mainly his work, and the planning and 
erection of the sawmills, iron foundry, metal shops and case fac- 
tory were entirely in his hands. With that restless zeal so char- 

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acteristic of the Steinway family, urging him to accomplish in a 
given time more than his bodily strength would permit, he under- 
mined his none too strong constitution and died at the age of 37 
on May 14, 1877. 

It is almost needless to say that in course of time honors were 
showered upon the house of Steinway, in recognition of its many 
valuable contributions to science, art and industry. Theodore and 
William were elected Members of the Societies of Art of Berlin, 
Paris and Stockholm, and William was decorated with the Cross 
of the Red Eagle by Emperor William of Germany. The highest 
prizes for meritorious products have invariably been awarded to 
the firm wherever their pianos have been exhibited, and the leading 
courts of Europe and Asia bestowed the honor of appointment as 
** special purveyors " to Steinway & Sons. 

Charles H. Steinway, the president of the corporation, has 
been honored by the Sultan of Turkey with the Order of the Liakat ; 
by the Republic of France with the Cross of the Legion of Honor ; 
by the Shah of Persia with the Order of the Lion and Sun, and by 
the Emperor of Germany with the Order of the Red Eagle. 

All of the founders of the great house having passed to the 
imknown beyond, their work is continued in most effectual man- 
ner by their scions, who, true to tradition, divide the mani- 
fold duties among themselves, according to their talents and 

Charles H. Steinway, son of the late Charles, directs the com- 
mercial and financial policy of the corporation. His brother, 
Frederick T., is in charge of the factories, assisted by Theodore 
Cassebeer, grandson of Doretta Steinway-Ziegler. 

Henry Ziegler, son of Doretta, and pupil of the late Theodore 
Steinway, is in charge of the construction department, assisted by 
the late AVilliam Steinway 's son, Theodore F., whose elder brother, 
William R., is in charge of the European business. 

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Following their chosen 
leader cheerfully, just as 
Henry Engelhardt's sons ac- 
knowledged their father's 
authority under all condi- 
tions, the active members of 
the House of Steinway not 
only uphold the foremost 
position to which the found- 
ers had attained, but are 
adding new laurels to the 
illustrious name by con- 
stantly improving the qual- 
ity of their instruments and 
extending their influence, as 
leaders of the industry, to 
all parts of the civilized 

Theodore A. Heintzmann is perhaps entitled to the name of 
father of the piano industry in Canada. Bom at Berlin, Germany, 
on May 19, 1817, he started as a cabinetmaker, learned keymaking 
with Buchholtz and perfected himself as a piano maker under 
Grunow. After travelipg extensively on the Continent of Europe, 
he landed in New York in 1850, where he found work in Lighte & 
Newton's factory. Charles Steinway had his work-bench in the 
same room with Heintzmann. In 1853 he went to Buffalo and 
started the Western Piano Company, which enterprise had to be 
abandoned during the panic of 1857. Moving to Toronto in 1860 
he started a piano shop without any capital, but his instruments 
were of such a high order that he found purchasers for them quite 
easily. The business grew steadily under his energetic manage- 
ment and ranks to-day among the leading industrial establishments 

Theodore A. Heintzmann 

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of the Dominion. Heintz- 
mann died on July 25, 
1899. The business has 
been taken over by a cor- 
poration, in the manage- 
ment of which four sons 
of the late Ileintzmann 
take active part. 

Among the many Ger- 
mans who left their fa- 
therland after the failure 
of the Revolution of 1848, 
was Ernest Gabler. Born 
in Glogau, Silesia, he 
landed at New York in 
1851, and started in busi- 
ness in 1854. Building a 
substantial piano at a 
moderate price, he met 
with considerable financial success. He died February 27, 
1883. . 

A peculiar character, with many strong traits, we find in Free- 
born Garrettson Smith. Learning his trade in Baltimore, he worked 
for some time in Chickering's factory. In 1861 he became super- 
intendent for William B. Bradbury. Bradbury was a musician by 
profession, who had bought an interest in the firm of Lighte & 
Newton (established in 1848), and when he dissolved partnership 
with Lighte, he found in Smith a good manager for his factory. 
After Bradbury's death in 1807 Smith bought the business, con- 
tinuing the name of Bradbury. Immediately the commercial in- 
stincts of Smith came to the surface, and he developed greater 

Ernest Cii.l>li-r 

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F. GL Smith 

talents as a distributor of 
pianos than as a maker. 
Original in his methods, he 
published for a long time a 
testimonial of the well- 
known preacher, T. DeWitt 
Talmage, in which the latter 
declared that if the angels 
are using musical instru- 
ments in heaven, the Brad- 
bury piano would surely be 
there, because of its sweet 

Smith was among the 
first who opened warerooms 
in leading cities, selling his 

product direct to the public rather than through dealers. He is 
counted among the wealthiest of those men in the piano trade who 
have accumulated their fortunes by thrift, energy and exceptional 
business ability. 

While working at the melodeon factory of George A. Prince 
& Company of Buffalo, Emmons Hamlin made the important dis- 
covery of ** voicing " organ reeds, so that a given reed could be 
made to imitate a clarinet, violin or other instrument. He devel- 
oped this discovery to perfection and in 1854 formed a partner- 
ship with Henry Mason under the firm name of Mason & Hamlin, 
for the purpose of manufacturing a new musical instrument called 
*' organ harmonium." Hamlin was a painstaking, exact working 
mechpnic, with considerable genius as an inventor. 

Henry Mason, reared under the best musical traditions of 
Boston, and graduated from a German university, was imbued with 

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that artistic devotion to 
music, which we find to this 
date expressed in the almost 
flawless instruments pro- 
duced by the Mason & Ham- 
lin Company. 

Starting with a small 
capital, but determined to 
produce the very best instru- 
ments only, the firm met with 
almost instant success. Not 
content with the manufac- 
ture of their humble instru- 
ment, they soon developed 
what has become known as 
the American Cabinet Organ. 
This instrument won for the 
firm a world-wide reputa- 
tion and the highest possible honors and awards were be- 
stowed upon their products at all World's Expositions, wherever 

In 1881 the manufacture of pianos was added to their indus- 
tries. The Mason & Hamlin piano advanced rapidly in popular 
favor and is accepted by the most eminent virtuosos and musicians 
of the day, as an artistic instrument of the highest order. 

Among the pioneers of the melodeon and organ industry was 
Bernhard Shoninger, a native of Germany, who landed in America 
in 1847, and started his factory at New Haven, Conn., in 1850. 
Branching out to the making of pianos, he secured for his instru- 
ments the same enviable reputation which had been accorded to 
his organs. Bernhard Shoninger died on June 3, 1910. The 

Bernhard Shouingor 

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business is continued under ' 

the able direction of his son, 
S. B. Shoninger. 

Myron A. Decker, born 
at Manchester, N. Y., on 
January 2, 1823, served 
a four-year apprenticeship 
with Van Winkle at the time 
when Albert Weber was tak- 
ing his post-graduate course 
in the same shop. He then 
went to work for Boardman 
& Gray at Albany, and 
started a factory in that city 
in 1856. At the State Fair 
held at Syracuse in 1858 
Decker received a diploma 
for the best piano exhibited. 

In 1859 he removed to New York, occupying for many years the his- 
toric building on Third Avenue and Fourteenth Street, in which 
Osborn, and later Worcester, had made pianos many years before. 
In 1877 his son, Frank C. Decker, was admitted to partnership and 
the firm changed to Decker & Son. 

Myron A. Decker died in 1901. He was one of the old school 
of master mechanics, more concerned in designing and building a 
thoroughly artistic piano than in accumulating wealth. The firm 
was changed to a coqioration in 1909, with Frank C. Decker as 
president and manager. Frank C. Decker, Jr., grandson of the 
founder, is preparing himself, under the tutelage of his father, to 
perpetuate the well-earned fame of the name of Decker in the piano 

Myron A. Decker 

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Among the few who de- 
voted their lives to the one 
object, the improvement of 
the piano, esi>ecially its to- 
nal qualities, George Steek's 
name will ever be mentioned 
as one of the first. Born 
near Cassel, Germany, on 
July 19, 1829, Steck studied 
with that celebrated master, 
Carl Scheel of Cassel. 
Coming to America in 1853, 
he started his factory in 
1857 and met with such ex- 
ceptional success that he 
was able to open Steck Hall 
on Clinton Place, New York 
City, in 18G5, where his con- 
cert grand pianos were played by the leading artists of the day. 
Later on a larger hall was opened on Fourteenth Street to meet the 
demands of a steadily growing business. 

Steck was one of those restless natures who are never satisfied 
with the best of their work. As a scale drawer he had no superior. 
His scales for both grand and upright pianos have been indus- 
triously copied by makers of commercial pianos, because of their 
exceptional merit for clear and large tone. His concert grands 
have been highly endorsed by Richard Wagner, Sophie Menter, 
Annette Essipoff, Sir Julius Benedict and many others. 
Because of the exceptional solidity of the Steck piano, it 
has been chosen for years by many schools and colleges 
all through the United States, and has become known as the 
'* school piano." 

George Steck 

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Personally, George Steck 
was a most lovable charac- 
ter, who had no enemies, 
finding pleasure in the pur- 
suit of his art, with no par- 
ticular regard for the com- 
mercial end of the business. 
To assure for his co-workers 
proper compensation for 
faithful service, Steck in- 
corporated his business in 
1884, allotting shares of 
stock to his employees. 
Gradually shifting the re- 
sponsibilities and cares upon 
younger shoulders, he retired 
from active participation in 
1887. The last 10 years of 

his life were devoted entirely to his pet scheme of constructing a 
piano which would stand permanently in tune. His experiments in 
that direction were very interesting, but he could not see the fulfill- 
ment of his dream. He died on March 31, 1897. In 1904 the busi- 
ness was consolidated with the Aeolian Company of New York, 
under whose direction the manufacture of the Steck pianos is con- 
tinued with great energy and ability. The business having out- 
grown the home facilities, large additional factories have been 
established at Gotha, Germany, to supply the foreign demand for 
these pianos. 

One of the prominent piano manufacturers of the early days 
was Henry Behning. Born at Hanover, Germany, on November 3, 
1832, he learned piano making with Julius Gercke and came to 

Henry Behning 

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Hugo Sohmer 

America in 1856. He found 
emploj-ment in the shop of 
Lighte & Newton. At the 
outbreak of the Civil War he 
enlisted with the Union 
Army, taking part in the hos- 
tilities, but was soon honor- 
ably discharged for disabil- 
ity. In 1861 he started in 
business, making a good 
commercial piano. In 1880 
he admitted his son Henry to 
partnership, under the firm 
name of Henry Behning & 
Son. He retired from busi- 
ness in 1894 and died on 
June 10, 1905. The firm was 

changed in 1894 to the Behning Piano Company, a corporation 
under the management of Henry Behning, Jr., and Gustav 

Hugo Sohmer, born in the Black Forest, Germany, in 1846, 
had the benefit of a classical education, including a thorough study 
of music. He came to New York at the age of sixteen and served 
his apprenticeship with Schiitze & Ludolff. Returning to Ger- 
many he studied piano making for two years in some of the leading 
factories there. In 1870 he founded the firm of Sohmer & Com- 
pany, by taking over the business of Marshall & Mittauer. Sohmer 
is a thorough piano maker who has patented many improvements, 
enhancing the value of his product. With strongly developed 
artistic inclination, Sohmer has ever been satisfied to produce an 
artistic instrument, rather than to merely manufacture large quan- 

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Among the firms that 
have succeeded in producing 
a high-grade piano and scor- 
ing at the same time a re- 
markable financial success, 
Jacob Brothers stand pre- 
eminent. Charles Jacob stud- 
ied piano making with Calen- 
berg & Vaupel, who stood 
high among the masters of 
their day, while his brother, 
John F. Jacob, worked for 
years with Hardman, Peck 
& Company, and Billings & 
Wheelock. They started in 
business in 1878. After the 
death of John F. in 1885, cimries Jacob 

the youngest brother, C. Albert, was admitted to the firm, and 
in 1902 the business was incorporated. Besides their own ex- 
tensive factory, this corporation owns the Wellington Piano Case 
Company, the Abbott Piano Action Company and has also taken 
over the Mathushek & Son Piano Company, and the old established 
business of James & Holmstrom, all of which are continued with 
marked success under the presidency of Charles Jacob, assisted 
by his brother Albert. 

One of the most interesting characters in the history of the 
piano industry was Frederick Mathushek, born at Mannheim on 
June 9, 1814. He learned piano making at Worms. After serving 
his apprenticeship, he traveled through Germany and Austria, and 
finally landed in Henri Pape's shop at Paris, where he became thor- 
oughly infected with that inventor's bacteria. Ketuming to 

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Worms, be began to build 
freak pianos similar to those 
he had seen at Rape's. One 
of his octagon ** table pi- 
anos," built at Worms, is 
among the collection of an- 
tique pianos at the Ibach 
Museum at Barmen. Al- 
though a splendid workman 
and particularly gifted tone 
specialist, which enabled him 
to build superior artistic pi- 
anos, his business was not a 
success financially. 

In 1849 Mathushek landed 
in New York, and was imme- 
diately engaged by John B. 
Dunham to draw new scales 
and make other improvements. It is said that Mathushek drew a 
scale for overstrung square pianos in Dunham's shop in 1850. It 
has never been disputed that the reputation which the Dunham 
pianos enjoyed in their day was due to the work of Mathushek. It 
was here, also, that he constructed his piano hammer-covering 
machine, which has been used as a foundation for all later improve- 
ments in that line. 

In 1852 Mathushek started again on his own account, continuing 
until 1857, when Spencer B. Driggs tempted him with most lib- 
eral offers to work out the vague, not to say wild, notions which 
Driggs had conceived of revolutionizing the construction of the 
piano. It was impossible for even so great and versatile a genius 
as Mathushek to achieve any practical results by following Driggs^ 

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ideas, and we find him in 1866 as head of the Mathushek Piano 
Company, at New Haven, Conn. It was here that he did his best 
work. His invention of the linear bridge and equalizing scale 
enabled him to produce in his small ** Colibri " piano a tone richer 
and fuller than could be found in many a large square piano, while 

Mathusliek's " Table Piano," from the Ibacli CoUeotion 

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his orchestral square piano 
has never been excelled, if it 
ever had its peer. In volume 
and musical quality of tone 
these orchestral square pi- 
anos were far superior to 
many of the short grand 
pianos of the present time, 
possessing, especially in the 
middle register, an almost 
bewitching sweet mellowness 
of tone, reminding vividly of 
the cello tones. Unfortu- 
nately for Mathushek, the 
owners of the company soon 
commercialized the product, 
and his dream of some day 
building a concert grand pi- 
ano such as he had in his mind was never realized. 

He drew many grand piano scales for other manufacturers, 
but, strange as it may sound, Mathushek 's scales were only a suc- 
cess when he could work out the entire piano as he conceived it 
in his own mind. It is no exaggeration to state that Mathushek 
could, as a voicer, produce a tone quality in his own pianos that 
no other man could imitate. The author had the privilege of 
working alongside Mathushek for a number of years at the New 
Haven factory and obsers^ed the radical transformation of tone 
quality after Mathushek had gone over the hammers with his 
tools. A good player of the piano, with a wonderfully sensitive 
and trained ear, he quickly detected an almost imperceptible short- 
coming and usually knew how to correct it. His fault, if it is to 

Frederick Mathushek 

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be called so, was his irresistible restlessness in seeking for im- 
provements, which often robbed him of his night's rest and 
jirompted continual changes while a large number of pianos were 
in course of construction. Modern manufacturing methods do not 
permit of too much experimenting, and like his master, Pape, 
Mathushek died a poor man. In 1871 he left New Haven, and with 
his grandson started the firm of Mathushek & Son in New York. 
It was finally changed to a corporation and consolidated with 
Jacob Brothers, under whose able management the business has 

It is impossible to discuss or even to enumerate the manifold 
inventions of Frederick Mathushek. He was even more prolific 
than Henri Pape, but differed from Pape in not being given to 
merely experiment with ideas for the sake of novelty. 

Mathushek 's whole existence was dominated by the desire to 
produce in a piano that ideal musical tone which he could hear 
mentally, just as the deaf Beethoven heard his symphonic poems 
when he wrote them. Mathushek never had an opportunity to 
develop what he had in mind and felt in his soul. He came near 
to it in his orchestral square piano, and almost accomplished his 
aim in his equilibre system. The piano industry of America is 
largely indebted for its wonderful development to the genius of 
Frederick Mathushek. He died November 9, 1891. 

With hope and high ambition, William E. Wheelock entered the 
trade in 1873, at the age of twenty-one years, as a member of the 
firm of Billings & Wheelock. In 1877 the partnership was dis- 
solved, and he began the manufacture of the Wheelock piano. 
In 1880 the firm name became William E. Wheelock & Co. The 
demand for the Wheelock piano had increased so rapidly that 
better facilities became necessary, and a large factory with grounds 
comprising 21 city lots on 149tli Street, New York, was acquired. In 
1886 the Stuyvesant Piano Company was started to meet the de- 

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mand for a medium-priced 
piano, and in .1892 control 
of the business of the 
late Albert Weber was 
obtained. Wheelock and 
his partners, Charles B. 
Lawson and John W. Ma- 
son, organized the Weber 
Piano Company and thus 
became the first manufac- 
turers who could offer to 
the trade a full line of the 
most merchantable grades : 
the Weber, a piano of 
the highest reputation and 
qualities; the Wheelock, as 
a first-class instrument, and 
the medium-priced Stuy- 

\ii,iUia.t^ (^.HcCije^^^ vesant— all made in sepa- 

^ rate factories, but prac- 
tically under one control 
and management. This idea, later on, was successfully followed 
by many of the leading concerns in the United States. When the 
opportunity to consolidate his three companies with the Aeolian 
interests presented itself in 1903, Wheelock saw the greater possi- 
bility for the future of his enterprise in such a combination and 
entered into the arrangement whereby he became treasurer of the 
new and larger corporation then formed, while remaining presi- 
dent of the several piano companies of which for many years he 
had been the head. 

Educated as a musician, becoming a violinist and orchestra 
conductor of note, Simon Krakauer, born at Kissingen, Germany, 

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in 1816, came to America in 
1854 and started manufac- 
turing pianos in 1869, with 
his son David, who had 
learned the trade in A. H. 
Gale's shop and later on 
worked for Haines Brothers 
and other New York makers. 

It was but natural that 
the thorough musician, Kra- 
kauer, should strive to build 
an artistic piano, making 
quality the dominant effort, 
seeking to obtain musical 
tone quality. In 1867 Julius 
and Daniel Krakauer joined, 
and the firm was changed 
to Krakauer Brothers. In 
1903 the concern was incorporated, 
and his father in 1905. 

William B. Tremaine, born in 1840, entered the piano business 
in 1868 as a member of the firm of Tremaine Brothers. A man of 
restless disposition, cultured and versatile, he seized upon oppor- 
tunities whenever presented. When Mason J. Mathews had his 
orguinette ready for the market, Tremaine organized in 1878 the 
'* Mechanical Orguinette Company," and marketed these auto- 
matic instruments by the thousands. Later on the '* Celestina '^ 
(an enlarged orguinette) was introduced with considerable suc- 
cess, and in 1883 the Aeolian organ was brought out. Acquiring 
in 1888 the patents and stock in trade of the Automatic Music 
Paper Company of Boston, Tremaine organized the Aeolian Organ 
& Music Company, manufacturing automatic organs and music 

Simon Krakauer 

David Krakauer died in 1900, 

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rolls. Success crowning 
his efforts, be purchased 
in 1892 all the patents 
owned by the Monroe 
Organ Reed Company of 
Worcester, and in 1895 
introduced the ** Aeriol " 
self -playing piano. 

W. B. Tremaine was 
the founder of the busi- 
ness of manufacturing 
automatic playing musical 
instruments. Before the 
advent of the '' Pianola " 
there was neither competi- 
tion nor encouragement 
from the piano trade, and 
it required a man of keen 
foresight and courage to meet these conditions and make a suc- 
cess of the business, as he did, up to the time of his relinquishing 
it to his son. 

Many writers point to the fact that a large number of our 
captains of industry have been born on a farm, have lacked higher 
education and had to ** make themselves," inferring, if not posi- 
tively asserting, that greatness in man can only originate on the 
soil or in the dwelling of the poor. In 1866 a boy was born in 
the city of Brooklyn who was christened Harry B. Tremaine. 
The father and mother, highly educated people of culture and 
refinement, brought up their boy with all the advantages which a 
large city offers. Unlike the country lad, young Tremaine saw 
the sky-scraping office buildings of New York go up, saw the 
traffic on its thoroughfares, the ships in the harbor, loading and 

William B. Tremaine 

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unloading merchandise to 
and from all quarters of the 
globe. He was not awe- 
struck. It looked natural to 
him. He saw it every day 
when he went to school, but 
he observed and absorbed. 
Contrary to the old prescrip- 
tion according to which the 
great men of the future had 
to leave the schoolroom at 
the age of 13 or 14 to learn 
a trade, young Tremaine 
wanted to go to the high 
school. Instinctively, he felt 
that there must be a big 
story back of all this commo- 
tion on Broadway and in 
Wall Street, there must be laws and system behind all of 
it, and he wanted to know them before he would attempt to take 
his place on the stage as one of the actors. That he would 
play a leading role was beyond question for him, but he 
wanted to be well prepared to know his lines and what they 

In Harry B. Tremaine we meet the new element in the business 
world. The thorough education which he had enjoyed had trained 
his mind in logical reasoning, supporting his large vision for utili- 
zation of modern inventions and discoveries on a large scale. 
Tremaine had the great advantage that he had nothing to forget. 
He also knew how to apply all that he had learned in relation to 
modem economics. When he, in 1898, took charge of the business 
of the Aeolian Company as president, he surveyed the situation as 

Harry B. Tremains 

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it presented itself. His 
father had laid a good 
foundation. Votey had 
perfected his Pianola. 
How to exploit what he 
found, to its fullest ex- 
tent, was the problem 
for Tremaine to solve. 
Believing with the en- 
thusiasm of youth in 
the almost boundless 
commercial possibilities 
of the new automatic 
appliances for musical 
instruments, he knew 
that success was only 
obtainable if adequate 
capital could be com- 
bined with the manu- 
facturing and selling 
organization then at his command. So strong was his faith, so plau- 
sible the plans which he had worked out that he did succeed in inter- 
esting men of affairs, and obtained capital by the millions for the 
furtherance of his ambitious plans. Backed by this abundant capi- 
tal, he lost no time in setting his machinery in motion. The adver- 
tising campaign for the Pianola, which he inaugurated immediately, 
stunned the old-timers in the piano trade. Dire disaster was 
prophesied by many, but Tremaine knew his cards, his carefully 
laid plans did not miscarry and no one to-day denies him the credit 
of having blasted and paved the way for the popularity of the 
player piano. Like all great leaders, Tremaine has the talent to 
pick the right man for the right place. He found an able assistant 

Edward R. Perkins 

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in Edward R. Perkins, 
who joined the Aeolian 
forces in 1893 at the age 
of 24. Perkins exhibited 
such ability and strength 
that he was intrusted with 
the responsible position of 
vice-president and general 
manager when the greater 
organization was completed. 

William E. Wheelock 
came into the fold as presi- 
dent of the Weber Piano 
Company in 1903, and is 
now in charge of the finan- 
cial department as treas- 
urer of the corporation. 

Tremaine understands 

Edwin S. Votey 

the economy of high-priced labor. When he wanted to build 
the best player pianos he secured the services of Pain, 
Votey, Kelly and others of ability. Just as soon as he was 
ready to enter the piano field proper, he associated with the 
Weber and Steck piano, and finally made a combination with the 
house of Steinway for the exclusive use of the Pianola in their in- 
struments. Knowing that large capital can be economically applied 
only under conditions of increasing returns, which again are only 
possible with relatively large markets,^he branched out and went into 
the markets of Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. For 
the stimulus of the home market bidding for the patronage of the 
wealthy, Tremaine built Aeolian Hall, in the very heart of New 
York's fashionable quarters, engaging the best artists to demon- 

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strate the value of his 
products at the elegant 
auditorium. In 1903 he or- 
^^ ganized the Aeolian, Weber 

^^^^~^ \ Piano & Pianola Company, 

^^^ ^ I capitalized at $10,000,000 

^^^^|k and controlling the following 

^^^^y [ subsidiary companies: The 

^^^^^^^k^ Aeolian Company, the Or- 

"^B^^^Ht chestrelle Company (Lon- 

'^ don), The Choralion Com- 

pany (Berlin), The Aeolian 
Company, Ltd. (Paris), The 
Pianola Company Proprie- 
tary, Ltd. (Melbourne and 
Sydney), the Weber Piano 
George B. Kelly Company, George Steck & 

Company, Wheelock Piano 
Company, Stuyvesant Piano Company, Chilton Piano Com- 
pany, Technola Piano Company, Votey Organ Company, Vocalian 
Organ Company and the Universal Music Company. These com- 
panies give employment to about 5,000 people, scattered all over 
the world. Aside from the extensive piano factories in New York 
City, and the player factories at Garwood and Meriden, there is 
a Steck piano factory at Gotha, Germany, producing 3,500 pianos 
annually, and a large factory for the Weber Piano Company is 
in course of construction at Hayes, near London. Operating as 
independent concerns, these companies are capitalized at about 
$4,000,000. The total capital employed under the direction of 
Harry B. Tremaine amounts to $15,500,000, which is more than 
the capital invested in the entire piano and organ industry of the 
United States in 1890. 

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The remarkable results achieved by Tremaine within so short 
a time can be accounted for by the fact that he learned from history 
what others had to learn in the dreary school of experience. As 
an observant student, he saw the potentialities of mechanical ap- 
I)liances for musical instruments and knew how to develop them. 
A genius as an organizer, he believes in combination of capital 
and brains, division of labor and responsibilities, and adequate 
compensation for all. He has proven that a higher education is 
not an hindrance for advancement, but a necessity for progress in 
industrial, commercial or financial pursuits. He has made his 
record in breaking Ihe path for the new school of industrial revo- 
lutionists in the piano industry. A pioneer of the most forceful, 
aggressive type, he is withal of a gentlemanly and most retiring 
disposition, shunning publicity to an unwarranted degree. 

William B. Tremaine died in 1907, having seen his work bear 
fruit a thousand-fold under the magic wand of his gifted son. 

How rapidly the player piano is forging to the front, with almost 
irresistible force, is clearly demonstrated by the tremendous growth 
of such factories as seem to know how to serve the public best. 

Among those the Autopiano Company has made its mark by 
producing a player piano of distinctly original construction and 

The demand for their player has always been ahead of the 
capacity to supply, and artists of the highest standing are praising 
the dominant features which distinguish this instrument from 
many others. Although established only 8 years (1903) the Auto- 
piano Company, under the aggressive management of President 
R. W. Lawrence, has risen to a position of one of the largest pro- 
ducers of player pianos. Manufacturing thoroughly reliable in- 
struments and employing comprehensive, modern business methods 
the Autopiano Company is rendering valuable service for the 
introduction of the player piano. 

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Because of the impetus given to the player-piano industry by 
the extensive advertising of the Aeolian Company, Wilcox & White 
Company and others, a demand for a reliable player action made 
itself forcibly felt. Charles Kohler seized upon the opportunity 
and established the Auto-Pneumatic Action Company in 1900. He 
secured the active assistance of W. J. Keeley, Thomas Danquard 
and other experts. Danquard obtained a patent in 1904 for a 
device called the *' flexible finger," by means of which the wippen 
of the piano action is attached direct to the player mechanism, thus 
eliminating the harshness of contact and imparting elasticity with- 
out interfering with the function of the piano action. 

Because of their excellent quality a large number of piano manu- 
facturers have adopted these actions for their player pianos. The 
Auto-Pneumatic Action Company is perhaps the largest producer 
of player mechanism at the present time. 

The Standard Pneumatic Action Company, the Amphion Com- 
pany, Ariston Company, Gulbransen-Dickinson Company, Chase 
& Baker Company and Simplex Piano-Player Company are also 
making history for the player piano. 

Among the ijhenomenal successes of latter days, the firm of 
Kohler & Campbell stands pre-eminent. Beginning with a small 
capital in 1896, this firm has placed over 120,000 pianos on the 
market within 14 years. 

John Calvin Campbell, born at Newark, N. J., in 1864, was 
a mechanical genius. After serving his apprenticeship as a 
machinist, he turned to construction, and invented several useful 
wood and iron working machines. In 1890 he took up piano mak- 
ing and made a scientific study of piano construction. He was 
so successful that his pianos were at once accepted by the whole- 
sale trade as of splendid commercial value, and he saw his firm 
rise to unexpected magnitude. He died in 1908. 

To his surviving partner, Charles Kohler, the credit is due of 
organizing the great business in such a manner as to keep pace 

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with the demand for their 
pianos. Born at Newark, 
N. J., in 1868, he attended 
the public school and studied 
for one year at Princeton 
College. At the age of 20 
he turned to piano making. 
Establishing the firm of 
Kohler & Campbell, he found 
opportunity to display his 
remarkable talent as a fac- 
tory organizer and business 
man. Supplementing Camp- 
belPs ingenious construction 
with thorough workmanship 
in all details of the piano, he 
made advantageous use of 
modern methods in manufac- 
turing and produced a fine piano, which he could offer at tempting 
prices to large distributors. The remarkable fact is to be recorded 
that among his largest customers are piano manufacturers of note 
who carry the Kohler & Campbell pianos in their various retail 

Naturally modest and of a retiring disposition, Kohler has not 
been active in any of the general trade movements, but that he will 
be called upon to take his part in time to come is warranted by 
the record which he has made. 

The American Piano Company of New York, incorporated in 
June, 1908, is another of the modern combinations of large estab- 
lishments. Capitalized at $12,000,000, it controls the factories of 
Chickering & Sons, in Boston; William Knabe & Company, in 
Baltimore ; Haines Brothers, Marshall & Wendell, Foster & Com- 

John C. Campbell 

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pany, Armstrong, Brewster and J. B. Cook companies, located at 
Rochester, N. Y. C. H. W. Foster of Chickering & Sons is presi- 
dent of this company, with George C. Foster, George L. Eaton, 
Charles H. Eddy and William B. Armstrong as vice-presidents. 
While maintaining retail warerooms at New York, Boston, Balti- 
more and Washington, this company distributes its products else- 
where through dealers exclusively. 

The house of Wing & Son, New York, was founded in 1868 by 
Luman B. Wing, as partner in the firm of Doane, Wing & Cushing. 
Luman B. Wing died in 1873, and was succeeded by his son, Frank 
L. Wing, who admitted R. Delano Wing (his son) to partnership in 
1905. This firm is probably the pioneer of the mail-order busi- 
ness in pianos. Building a reliable instrument, the concern has 
met with uninterrupted success during the 43 years of its 

New York is proud of such names as Kranich & Bach, Strich & 
Zeidler, Mehlin & Sons, Behr Brothers, Lauter (of Newark), 
Wissner, Stultz & Bauer, Ludwig & Company, Pease Piano Com- 
pany, Winter & Company and others who are making history as 
manufacturers of meritorious pianos. 

Philadelphia has, besides the time-honored Schomacker, the 
Blasius, the Lester and the Cunningham Piano companies — all of 
whom are as true to the traditions of honest values in pianos as 
any the old Quaker City has ever produced. 

Among the firms who have done much to keep Boston to the 
front is the Henry F. Miller & Sons Piano Company. Henry F. 
Miller, born at Providence, R. I., on September 25, 1825, was edu- 
cated as a musician and acquired a reputation especially as an 
organist. His commercial inclination prompted him, however, to 
accept an offer of the Boston piano makers, Brown & Allen, to join 
their forces in 1850. After studying with this concern for seven 

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years, he accepted a more 
promising position with en- 
terprising Emerson, and in 
1863 started, in connection 
with J. H. Gibson, who was 
an expert scale draughts- 
man and constructor, to 
make the ** Miller '^ piano. 
Success followed his efforts, 
and in course of time he 
admitted his five sons to 
partnership, incorporating 
finally under the name of 
Henry F. Miller & Sons 
Piano Company. He died on 
August 4, 1884, at Wakefield. 

Henry F. Miller 

His sons took up the work 

of their father under the leadership of Henry F. Miller, Jr., con- 
tinually improving their product so that many of the greatest 
virtuosos are using the Miller grand pianos in their concert work. 
Besides paying proper attention to the development of the musical 
character of their instruments. Miller & Sons were among the 
first and most persistent advocates of architecturally correct 
designs for piano cases, and achieved marked success in that direc- 
tion as well. 

Aside from the many illustrious names founded many years 
ago, Boston can proudly point to younger firms, who by superior 
merit of their production are adding new luster to its fame as a 
piano-producing center of the highest order. It was in 1883 that 
Frank A. Lee joined the John Church Company of Cincinnati, 
and in November of that year the Everett Piano Company was 

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started in Boston through 
his eflforts. The name Ever- 
ett was chosen by Church 
because of its euphonious 
clearness, which makes it as 
easy to remember as it is 
easy to spell. John Church 
and the other associates of 
Lee, having been piano deal- 
ers for many years, started 
out to build a commercial 
piano, but as soon as Lee be- 
came president of the Ev- 
erett Piano Company he 
changed that policy and be- 
gan to make pianos of the 
highest order. It took years 
of perseverance, and often 
discouraging trials, to obtain for the Everett piano that recog- 
nition as an artistic piano which it deserved. Lee never lost faith 
in its ultimate success, and through his determination, ably as- 
sisted by the artistry of his superintendent, John Anderson, he 
finally had the satisfaction of seeing his concert grands used by 
Reisenauer, Dr. Neitzel, Chaminade, Carreno and other leading 
virtuosos, and the Everett pianos admitted among the selected 
leaders of the world's pianodom. 

The John Church Company also controls the Harvard Piano 
Company of Dayton, Ky., and, with its large catalogue as music 
publishers, is a great factor in the music world. Frank A. Lee, as 
president, has guided the destiny of this great company since 1894. 
The Ivers & Pond, Briggs, Merrill, Hume, Jewett and Poole 
Companies, Theodore J. Kraft and others are maintaining the tradi- 

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tions of famous Boston mak- 
ers and assisting creditably 
in making history for the 

Turning to the West, we 
encounter a galaxy of bril- 
liant men to whose excep- 
tional talents, business acu- 
men, shrewdness and cour- 
ageous farsightedness the 
unparalleled development of 
the industry in that part of 
the country must be ascribed. 
The most prominent figure 
was William Wallace Kim- 
ball. Descending from good 
old English stock, Kimball 
was born on a farm in Oxford 

County, Maine, in 1828. After passing through the high school 
he practiced teaching for a while, but soon became a commercial 
traveler. In his wanderings he came to Chicago, and was so 
impressed with the future possibilities of the little city that he 
made it his home and established himself as a piano dealer in 
1857. He sold the Chickering, Hallet & Davis and Emerson pianos 
largely in his early days. When Joseph P. Hale introduced his 
commercial piano, Kimball took hold of it with such energy that 
he soon became the largest piano dealer in the West. The great 
Chicago fire of 1871 did not spare Kimball's warerooms, which 
were entirely destroyed. Kimball immediately ordered a new stock 
of pianos from his manufacturers, turning his home into an office 
and the bam into a piano wareroom until he could find new quar- 

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ters in the business center of 
the city. In what high es-^ 
teem Kimball was held by 
the people of whom he 
bought is shown by the fact 
that Hale, of New York, tele- 
graphed him on the day of 
the fire, ** You can draw on 
me at once for $100,000.'' 
Hale appreciated the good 
customer and demonstrated 
unlimited faith in Kimball's 

A born organizer, Kim- 
ball outgrew the limited 
sphere of the local piano 
dealer. He branched out and 
became a jobber on a large 
scale. Among his first employees was a lank and lean farm- 
er's boy from Wisconsin, who showed such aptness for the 
business that he soon became Kimball's right-hand man. Edwin 
Stai)leton Conway was just the man to carry out Kimball's far- 
reaching plans. The west being sparsely settled in those days, 
but rapidly filling up with a splendid class of wealth-producing 
farmers, pianos were not in great demand. Kimball resolved to 
bring the pianos to the farmer's door. He made Conway the 
general field organizer, whose duty it was to travel from place 
to place and select in each town the brightest young fellow who 
could be trusted with consignments of organs and pianos, which 
he was to sell to the farmers of his neighborhood. Conway's 
personality, his energ}% power of persuasion and convincing man- 

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ners fitted him excellently 
for that work, and many a 
prosperous dealer of the mid- 
dle west proudly calls him- 
self to-day a * * Conway Boy, ' ' 
meaning that he was induced 
by Conway to enter the field 
and profited by Conway's 
coaching. Pretty soon Kim- 
ball had a net of agencies 
covering the entire western 
country and the proceeds of 
his yearly sales of pianos 
and organs ran into the mil- 
lions of dollars. 

Bright and early, on a 
spring morning, Conway 
blew into the author's office, 
in New York, explaining in a 

few words that he had finally convinced the '* Governor " of the ne- 
cessity of making his own organs at Chicago, and now wanted all 
the information he could get, in order to buy material. Kimball 
had resolved to climb a step higher and become a manufacturer. 
Success was a foregone conclusion, because he controlled the outlet 
of thousands of organs, and even his piano sales at that time 
exceeded the imposing number of 4,000 per year. When the 
organ manufacturing was well under way, he started in 1882 his 
piano factory. At stated before, Kimball was a born organizer. 
With unerring eye he always understood how to pick the right 
man for the right place and to keep him there. When his manu- 
facturing department assumed greater proportions he sent for 

Edwin S. CJonway 

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his nephew, W. Lufkin, and 
charged him with the man- 
agement thereof, although 
Lufkin had, up to that time, 
never been inside of a piano 
or organ factory. Kimball 
was original in all that he 
did. He reasoned that, for 
the management of such big 
factories as he contemplated, 
a man brought up at the 
work-bench or at an office 
desk would have too narrow 
a vision. He wanted a man 
who would just as readily 
plan to make 30,000 instru- 
w. Lufkin meuts a year as 5,000. Luf- 

kin was that man. He made the first 5,000 pianos, and is 
turning out 30,000 instruments per year now, including most 
imposing church organs. Without a doubt, the Kimball factories 
stand without a parallel. Not only are they producing all parts 
of the piano, from the case up, including iron plates, actions and 
keys, but since 1904 the entire mechanism of the player piano has 
been also made there, including the music rolls. To the small 
parlor organ, the building of church organs was added in 1890. 
Kimball reversed the order of things. Two hundred years ago 
the church-organ builders made pianos as a side issue. Kim- 
ball, evolving from a small retail dealer to the largest piano 
manufacturer in the world, became a church-organ builder as 

Kimball, not so bold as Conway, listened carefully to the lat- 
ter 's aggressive plans, worked them down to the line of safe pos- 

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sibility and then charged 
Lufkin with making the 
goods which Conway had to 
sell. A splendid trio, with a 
most able leader, and hence 
the unparalleled success. 
Kimball saw his business 
grow to an institution with a 
turnover of over $4,000,000 
per annum. He died on De- 
cember 15, 1904. The corpo- 
ration is continued with C. 
N. Kimball as president, E. 
S. Conway, vice-president, 
and W. Lufkin, treasurer. 

H. D. Cable, born at Wal- 
ton, N. Y., in 1849, spent his 
early days on a farm. After 
attending the Walton Academy, he turned to teaching, with 
such success that at the age of 17 he was elected principal 
of the schools at Easton, Pa., and a year later appointed 
superintendent of schools at Williamsport, Pa. In 1869 the pub- 
lishing house of Barnes & Company sent him to Chicago as man- 
ager of their western department, and for 11 years Cable filled that 
responsible position with great success and fidelity. In 1880 he 
formed a partnership with the organ builder, F. K. Wolfinger, 
organizing the Wolfinger Organ Company, which was changed to 
the Western Cottage Organ Company, and later on to the Chicago 
Cottage Organ Company. 

Cable applied the methods used in selling books, as far as pos- 
sible, to the organ and piano business, with amazing success. Like 

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Kimball, he was a bom or- 
ganizer and an excellent 
judge of men and their abili- 
ties. The training which he 
had enjoyed in the book- 
selling business impelled him 
to introduce system in his 
manufacturing and selling 
organization, with all that 
this word implies in modern 
business management, and 
perhaps he was the first in 
the piano industry to profit 
by the application of scien- 
tific accounting. At all 
events, his success was so 
rapid, and his business as- 
sumed such immense propor- 
tions, that it became the wonder of his contemporaries. 

Of an exceedingly nervous temperament, Cable was not only 
a rapid thinker, but also a worker of extraordinary capacity. Him- 
self the soul of honor and integrity, he treated everybody on that 
basis, and his keen judgment assisted his intuition in making bold 
moves on the chessboard of trade with advantageous results. 
Starting out in his enterprises by catering to the demands of the 
masses, he aimed for the highest in his i)iano production, and in 
1890 he consolidated the business of Conover Brothers, of New 
York, with his own, securing at the same time the valuable assist- 
ance of that eminent piano constructor, J. Frank Conover, for the 
manufacture of the Conover piano. As his business assumed 
larger proportions, he called his brothers, Hobart M. and Fayette 

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S. Cable, to his aid, and, al- 
though he had surrounded 
himself with a number of 
able men, his close personal 
application to the complex- 
ities of his large business 
finally undermined his con- 
stitution and he died pre- 
maturely on March 2, 1899, 
at the age of 50. 

The business, having 
been incorporated, has been 
continued, but the name of 
the company was changed to 
the Cable Company, in 
honor of the founder. F. S. 
Cable served as president 
until 1903, when he started 
in business on his own account. He was succeeded by F. S. 
Shaw, under whose able management the company largely ex- 
tended its activities, adding a department for player pianos^ 
and paying careful attention to the development of the artistic 
Conover piano, preparing for the introduction of the same on the 
concert platform. In the short space of 20 years the Cable Com« 
pany has attained a position as one of the great leaders of the 
western continent, and the genius of H. D. Cable has shown to 
contemporaries the great possibilities of the piano business in its 
legitimate channels. 

Lucien Wulsin, born in Louisiana in 1845, came with his fa- 
ther's family to Cincinnati in his early childhood. He went 
through the Cincinnati public school and part of the high school. 
At the age of 19 he enlisted with the Union army, at first serving 

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in a Kentucky infantry battalion, and from January, 1864, until the 
end of the war, in the Fourth Ohio Cavalry. In March, 1866, he 
entered the employ of D, H. Baldwin, a music teacher, who was 
selling the Decker Brothers' pianos in Cincinnati. Wulsin started 
in as a clerk, bookkeeper and general factotum, and made himself 
so useful that he was admitted to partnership in 1873, the firm 
name becoming D. H. Baldwin & Company. 

An era of expansion and larger activity was inaugurated. As 
the first move, a branch store was opened at Indianapolis. In 
1878 the Louisville branch was started under the management of 
R. A. Johnston, who was made a partner in 1880. After John- 
ston's death in 1882, George W. Armstrong, Jr., Clarence Wulsin 
and A. A. Van Buren, who had been employed by the firm for a 
number of years, became partners. With the growth of the busi- 
ness the necessity of manufacturing became more and more ap- 
parent, and in 1889 the Hamilton Organ Company was organized 
as a subsidiary concern for the making of organs — the Baldwin 
Piano Company, Valley Gem Piano Company and Ellington Piano 
Company soon following. Later on the Hamilton Piano Com- 
pany was formed, and the firm of D. H. Baldwin & Company 
changed into a corporation under the title of The Baldwin 
Company, the latter controlling all the above subsidiary com- 

D. H. Baldwin died in 1899, leaving the bulk of his estate for 
missionary purposes. Ordinarily this would have meant the wind- 
ing up of the business, in order to pay out the large amount which 
represented Baldwin's interest, but Wulsin did not propose to 
have the work of his life destroyed through an act of the man 
whom he had made wealthy by his 33 years of faithful devotion. 
Together with Armstrong he arranged to buy all the stock of the 
Baldwin estate and of the only remaining partner, A. A. Van 

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Freed from all interference, the two partners set to work to 
develop the business to its fullest possibilities. They were an 
excellent team. Wulsin, the man of ideas and business foresight, 
enthusiastically believing in the progress of the American people 
and the perpetual growth of the nation, planned the ultimate ex- 
pansion. Armstrong, the mathematician and man of figures, 
worked out the details of the plans to never-failing exactness. As 
a matter of good business policy, stress was laid in the beginning 
upon the commercial — the money-making — part of the business, 
with proper regard for the building up of a reputation for reliable 
goods, but just as soon as an efficient number of artisans had been 
trained, under the guidance of Superintendent Macy, the develop- 
ment of the artistic Baldwin piano was taken in hand with avidity 
and with corresponding success. 

Lucien Wulsin 's inborn love for the noble and beautiful is 
stamped upon every part of the great institution. The factories, 
located opposite beautiful Eden Park, at Cincinnati, are models of 
decorative architecture. Instead of imprisoning his men between 
four plain brick walls, Wulsin engaged an architect to design his 
factories, with orders to combine the beautiful with the practical, 
paying attention to hygienic improvements. Always kept scrupu- 
lously clean, the workrooms in the Baldwin factory impress the 
visitor much more as artists' ateliers than as piano makers' work- 
shops. The walls of the spacious offices are decorated with pictures 
of Greek and Roman structures of architectural beauty, to train 
the eyes of the workman for proper and correct forms ; flower-beds 
surround the factories and living flowers are to be found at the 
factory windows. An air of refinement permeates the entire estab- 
lishment and gentlemanly behavior is a characteristic of the Bald- 
win employees. 

The sound policy underlying the management of this great 
business is best described in Wulsin 's own words, which he used 

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in a letter to the author: ** I 
realize that the welfare of 
our company and the success 
of its people will come from 
a fair treatment of all our 
men and the awakening in 
them of the ideals and en- 
thusiasm, which, after all, do 
exist in the average human 

It is not to be won- 
dered at that the Baldwin 
pianos carried off the high- 
est prizes, wherever ex- 
hibited, gaining even that 
much-coveted distinction, the 
Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Nor does it require 
an explanation why Pugno exclaims, * * The Baldwin tone is bound- 
less; you can't get to the bottom of it — can't pound it out," and 
when, on the other hand, aesthetic de Pachmann whispers his en- 
chanting Chopin pianissimo passages on that same piano. The 
Baldwin piano is an art product, made by artists who are living 
and working in an artistic atmosphere, because the man who created 
the Baldwin institution is an idealist. Lucien Wulsin was deco- 
rated with the Cross of the Legion of Honor at the Paris Exposi- 
tion of 1900. 

As far back as 1849 an Alsatian by the name of Trayser made 
pianos and melodeons in Indianapolis. Drifting about the country, 
he came to Ripley, Ohio, in 1869, where he started a piano factory, 
which was removed to Richmond, Ind., in 1872, when James S. 
and Benjamin Starr acquired an interest in the concern. In 1878 

Benjamin Starr 

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Trayser retired, and Milo J. 
Chase entered the firm, the 
name of which was changed 
to the Chase Piano Com- 
pany. In. 1884 the Starr 
Brothers obtained control of 
the business and changed 
the name to the Starr Piano 
Company, with Benjamin 
Starr as manager. Upon 
the retirement of James 
Starr, Henry Gennett and 
associates obtained control 
of the company and began 
a campaign of expansion 
which has made the concern 

i» ii 1 J nil Henry Gennett 

one of the leaders of the 

middle west. Gennett assumed the business management and 
opened distributing warerooms in many leading cities of the 
western and southern States. Benjamin Starr superintended the 
factories, ably assisted by Harry Gennett. The business assumed 
immense proportions under the guidance of Henry Gennett, while 
his son Harry developed into a good piano constructor, who has 
done excellent work in improving the Starr piano and promises 
more as a piano maker for the future. Benjamin Starr died in 
1903, having had the satisfaction of seeing the small factory with 
which he started grow to an establishment producing annually 
about 18,000 pianos of a quality above the ordinary market 
instrument. It is the laudable ambition of Harry Gennett 
to see in the near future the Starr concert grand, designed 
and constructed by him, used by artists of note in their j^ublic 

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In the romantic vales of 
Bunifort, County of Cork, 
Ireland, a boy was born on 
March 17, 1840, to farmer 
Healy, the thirteenth child 
of a poor but happy family. 
The boy was christened 
Patrick Joseph. When the 
good ** ould sod " would not 
yield enough to support the 
growing family, Healy sen- 
ior packed up his worldly 
goods and took his family 
to the land of promise and 
possibilities. Patrick Joseph 
was 10 years of age when 
he landed in Boston. At- 
tending the public schools, 
he had an eye for earning money, and we find him working the bel- 
lows of a great church organ for the organist, Bancroft. This man 
became interested in the Irish lad, and when Healy had finished 
his school course Bancroft secured for him a position as errand 
boy with the music dealer, George P. Reed. The errand boy soon 
advanced to be a clerk, and we next find him in a responsible posi- 
tion in the great music publishing house of Oliver Ditson & 

Ditson had a keen perception of the possibilities in the rapidly 
developing cities of the west and planned the establishment of 
branch houses at Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago and San Fran- 
cisco. He gave Healy the choice of either of the three last named. 
After visiting St. Louis and Chicago, Healy wisely decided for 
the latter, and in 18()4 the firm of Lyon & Healy was established 

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under the protection of the parent house of Oliver Ditson & Com- 
pany. To encourage the young men, Ditson predicted that they 
would do a business of $100,000 per year within 10 years. Healy 
reported sales of over that amount before the first 12 months had 
passed I The piano trade of America has produced a large number 
of *^ great workers,'^ but it is the opinion of all who knew him 
that Healy outworked them all. The great results achieved by 
him are, however, due not only to the amount of work which he 
performed, but largely to the systematic methods he applied. 

The author will ever remember Healy 's first visit to his New 
York office. After the usual greeting, and every-day question, 
*' How is business with you! " Healy pulled out of his pocket a 
small black note-book and read off statistics as to how many letters 
had been received daily by his firm during the past month as com- 
pared to the same month of one, two and three years before. The 
methodical statistician, the mind which from the small detail could 
construct a prognostication of the future, was thus displayed. It 
was the key to Healy 's great achievements. Nervously working at 
the store during the daytime, he would take memoranda of 
the day's doings to his home and there work out statistics to 
guide him in his bold undertakings. Those who wondered at 
Healy 's positive, unfaltering aggressiveness did not know how well 
he had fortified himself with unfailing figures and facts, gathered 
from his comparative statistics, proving the correctness of his 
conclusions. Thus Healy was able to accomplish more in one 
lifetime than would ordinarily be possible for the combined efforts 
of several business men. 

However, searching for the main cause of the success of the 
man who built the greatest music house in the world, we find it 
in the character of P. J. Healy. Although exacting to a degree, 
his sympathetic character enabled him to draw from his employees 
the best that was within them in a manner which made all of his 

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I ' ^ young men enthusiastic 

workers for the success of 
the firm. Just and fair un- 
der all conditions, he dis- 
played a sincere solicitude 
for all who worked with him. 
Like all leaders, he had the 
faculty of picking the right 
man and putting him into the 
right place.' As Kimball 
found his Conway, so Healy 
discovered in another Wis- 
consin farmer's boy the qual- 
ities which only need oppor- 
tunity for developing into 
f' Cf^^<^^X4^^ ' *^^^ making of a strong man. 

Charles N. Post entered the 
employ of Lyon & Healy as a 
bookkeeper in 1864, when 16 years of age. He grew up to be Healy 's 
right-hand man, and when the business had outgrown the 
sphere of merely dealing in musical merchandise, and the 
manufacturing of instruments became a necessity, young Post 
was charged with the responsibility of managing that depart- 

After success was secured in the making of guitars, mandolins, 
etc., Healy 's ambition was to build an instrument of the higher 
order. Although the Erard harp was at that time considered to 
be perfection, Healy knew from experience that even that renowned 
make was not satisfactory, and he charged Post with the work of 
producing a harp which would be acceptable to the artists as supe- 
rior to the Erard. Post engaged the services of George B. Durkee, 
an inventor of note, and the two men set to work to construct a 

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Lyon & Healy Harp 

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harp which made the name of Lyon & Healy famous wherever 
orchestra music is played. Durkee went at his problem with a 
well-trained scientific mind and succeeded in constructing a 
mechanism which did away with the irritating ** buzzing " so 
common to the ordinary harp. He further developed a scale so 
I)erfect as to make the playing of the instrument much easier. By 
enlarging the soundboard he furthermore increased the volume of 
tone perceptibly. The first harp was turned out in 1886, and 
Healy had the satisfaction of seeing his instruments accepted by 
the Gewandhaus orchestra of Leipsic, and by nearly all the leading 
orchestras of Berlin, Vienna, Stuttgart, St. Petersburg, New York> 
Boston, Chicago, etc. 

The building of church organs was the next addition to the 
manufacturing department, which had grown to such magnitude 
that in the year 1890 over 100,000 instruments were turned out. 
The business, started in 1864 in a modest manner, had steadily 
grown until it was known all over the globe as the greatest estab- 
lishment of its kind. When Lyon retired from the firm in 1890, 
the corporate form was adopted, with P. J. Healy as president, 
Charles N. Post, vice-president, and Robert B. Gregory, treasurer. 
The concern continued in its onward march under Healy 's inspir- 
ing leadership, extending its influence in all directions, but Healy 
had to pay the penalty for drawing to excess on nature's limita- 
tions. He died on April 5, 1905, at the age of 65, mourned by all 
who knew him, honored by the members of the trade with the 
sobriquet, ^* The grand old man of the music trade," leaving his 
footprints behind as an example to coming generations that hon- 
esty of purpose, application to duty and fairness in all dealings 
with fellow-men make life worth living to a much greater degree 
than the mere accumulation of wealth. 

Charles N. Post succeeded Healy in the presidency until 1908, 
when he retired to the pleasant life of a gentleman farmer, on his 

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ranch in Southern Califor- 
nia. Healy's fourth son, 
Paul, has since been the ac- 
tive head of the great corpo- 
ration, and upon his instiga- 
tion the manufacture of 
pianos has been added. The 
factories are in charge of his 
brother, Mark Healy, who is 
studiously preparing himself 
for the career of a master 
builder of the Lyon & Healy 

Coming from a family of 
musical-instrument makers 
who pursued that art for 
generations in the little town 
of Schoneck, Saxony, Rudolph Wurlitzer landed in New York about 
1854. His career was such as usually falls to the lot of young Ger- 
man emigrants who land here without means, but endowed with a 
thorough education and expert knowledge of their profession. 
Struggling for the first few years to earn a living, he finally found 
his bearings in Cincinnati, where he established himself as an im- 
porter of musical instruments in 1856. With the enthusiasm and 
optimism of youth, he overcame the many obstacles and difficulties 
facing a young business man who has to earn his capital, and 
gradually climbed up the ladder until he was recognized as a power 
by his contemporaries. In 1890 his eldest son Howard was 
admitted to partnership. By studying the musical-instrument 
business in all its phases for several years in Europe, young 
Howard was well prepared for his work and soon made his pres- 

Rudolph Wurlitzer 

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ence felt, and the rise of the house of Wurlitzer to its pre-eminent 
position dates from that time. Incorporating in 1890 with a 
capital of $200,000, as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, it has now 
increased its capital to $1,000,000, and owns the Rudolph Wurlitzer 
Manufacturing Company, also with a capital of $1,000,000. In 
the course of time two other sons, Rudolph H. and Farney Wur- 
litzer, joined the concern, each taking charge of a department, so 
that at the fiftieth anniversary, in 1906, Rudolph Wurlitzer, Sr., 
was able to retire from active participation and enjoy the well- 
merited rest of private life. The Wurlitzer Company at present 
is perhaps the largest manufacturer of mechanical instruments, 
including player pianos, its business connections covering all parts 
of the globe. 

Among the many remarkable men who have made their mark 
in the development of the piano industry of the west, William H. 
Bush stands out as one of those sturdy characters whom mis- 
fortune only spurs on to greater eflforts. 

Coming from good old Holland stock, William Henry Bush was 
born in 1829 on a farm near Baltimore, Md. One of the first rail- 
roads built in the United States ran through the Bush farm to 
the City of Baltimore, and we find William as a lad of 14, with 
remarkable enterprise, contracting for the use of the steam engine 
and the one freight car of which the railroad could boast to carry 
his vegetables to Baltimore, so as to be the first in the marketplace. 
In 1854 he landed at Chicago and soon engaged in the lumber busi- 
ness, accumulating a fortune. The great fire of 1871 burned up 
his lumber yard and reduced him again to the point where he had 
started 17 years before. Success was his, and in 1886 he started 
in partnership with his son, William Lincoln Bush, and John 
Gerts, under the firm name of W. H. Bush & Company, for the 
manufacturing of pianos. 

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William L. Bush, born in 
1861, had served his ap- 
prenticeship with Geo. H. 
Woods & Company as an or- 
gan and piano maker, and 
from 1881 to 1883 as sales- 
man for the W. W. Kimball 
Company. John Gerts had 
learned piano makii^ in Ger- 
many, thoroughly mastering 
all branches of the art. 

With W. H. Bush at the 

head as financier, the concern 

prospered from the very 

start, and was changed to a 

corporation in 1891 with a 

paid-up capital of $400,000. 

Philanthropically inclined, 

the elder Bush planned to create for Chicago an institution which 

should serve music and the arts, but before his well-conceived plans 

materialized he passed away in 1901 at the age of 74. 

The Bush Temple of Music was started in 1902 and completed in 
1903, and stands as a monument to the enterprise, energy and liber- 
ality of the Maryland farmer boy, as one of Chicago's landmarks. 
The Conservatory of Music connected with the Bush Temple 
was founded by William Lincoln Bush in 1901, with Kenneth M. 
Bradley as Director and Mme. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler at the 
head of the piano department, the position now being occupied by 
Mme. Julie Rive King. Among the teachers of note who have given 
luster to this school, the great violinist, Ovide Musin, may be men- 

William H. Bush 

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William L. Bush, a tal- 
ented musician himself, is 
very solicitous for the last- 
ing success of this music 
school, which has achieved a 
far-reaching reputation. He 
also established similar in- 
stitutions at Dallas, Tex., 
and Memphis, Tenn., thus as- 
sisting in the propaganda 
for musical development not 
only as a manufacturerof ex- 
cellent pianos, but also as a 
lover of the art for art's sake. 

The Bush & Gerts Piano 
Company is known for its 
zeal in upholding and defend- 
ing the ethics of the piano 

trade. William L. Bush is using his forceful pen with telling results 
in the warfare against the illegitimate stencil and dishonest methods 
of selling, insisting that the maker's name should be on every piano 
and a fixed selling price established by the maker. 

Albert Krell, born at Gelbra, Germany, on September 10, 1833, 
came to America in 1848 and settled at Cincinnati in 1849. Coming 
from a family of musical-instrument makers, he was an expert 
violin builder, and started in business at the age of 16, renting a 
small shop in the rear of a drug store. He established a reputa- 
tion as a repairer of old violins, and built altogether about 300 
new instruments, which he sold at prices ranging from $150 to 
$300 apiece. In 1889 he, in conjunction with his sons, Albert and 
Alexander, who had studied piano making with George Steck, 

Albert Krell, Sr. 

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started a piano factory un- 
der the name of the Krell 
Piano Company. Alexander 
died in 1895, and Albert 
Krell, Sr., in 1900. 

After his brother's death, 
Albert, Jr., retired from the 
company and organized the 
Krell-French Piano Com- 
pany of Springfield, Ohio. 
This concern, after a disas- 
trous fire, moved to New 
Castle. Albert Krell re- 
signed from this company in 
1905 and started the Auto 
Grand Piano Company of 
America in Connersville, 
Ind., making the manufacture of player pianos a specialty. 

Among the successful pioneer piano makers of the west Braton 
S. Chase has made his mark. Tracing his connection with the 
trade back to 1869 when his father started the Chase Piano Com- 
pany at Richmond, Ind., Braton acquired a thorough and practical 
knowledge of the art under his father's tutelage. 

In 1889 he formed a connection with C. H. Hackley, the philan- 
thropic lumber king of Muskegon, Mich., and started the Chase- 
Hackley Piano Company, for which enterprise he soon secured 
recognition as one of the leading piano producers of the west, 
fully realizing Hackley 's desire to bring fame to the City of 
Muskegon as the home of the Chase Brothers and Chase-Hackley 

Among the many sturdy and thrifty German emigrants who 
have done so much in the development of the great middle west, 

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Mathias Schulz was one of 
those typical characters 
whose will-power could not 
be downed by adversity or 
obstacles. Born at War- 
burg, Germany, in 1842, his 
mother being left a widow 
at the time of his birth, the 
child had of necessity to be 
placed with relatives until 
he reached the age of 11, 
when he became entitled to 
the privileges of the military 
orphan asylum ai Potsdam 
because of his late father's 
services as a soldier. At the 
age of 14 he was apprenticed 
to a cabinetmaker. Just as soon as he had served his 
time he took to ** wandern " and started to visit his dear 
mother. Arriving at his home town, he learned that his mother 
had been buried two weeks previous. Broken-hearted, he 
started on his journey again, leaving it to fate where he might 

Sentimentally inclined, young Schulz felt his lonesomeness in- 
tensely and resolved to enlist as a soldier, just to get comrades 
and companionship, to find someone who would take an interest 
in him and for whom he could care. But, fortunately for him, fate 
intervened. The day before his physical examination by the mili- 
tary authorities he broke his shoulder-blade and was not accepted. 
With no prospect for a military career, he longed to go to America, 
and started for London, where he expected to earn enough money 
to pay his passage to New York. He found work in a piano factory 

Mathias Schulz 

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and learned the art as it had 
then been developed. After 
a two years' stay in London 

" ^^^^^^ '^^^^^^■^B 1868 and made his home in 

Chicago. The piano indus- 
try being then in its infancy 
in America, Schulz returned 
to cabinetmaking and, in 
partnersliip with two col- 
leagues, started a shop at 
Chicago in 1869. In 1876 
Schulz bought out his part- 
ners. With remarkable en- 
ergy he overcame all the diflS- 
culties which beset a young 
manufacturer who lacks ex- 
perience as well as capital, and his superior craftsmanship, ex- 
traordinary capacity for work, together with his inborn honesty 
and integrity, soon brought prosperity and his business grew 
steadily. In 1889 it had assumed such large proportions that it 
was incorporated under, the name of M. Schulz Company, with his 
son, Otto Schulz, as vice-president. The manufacturing of organs 
and pianos was now made a specialty. 

Like many pioneers, Schulz had overtaxed himself in the at- 
tempt to satisfy ambition and passed away in 1899 at the age 
of 57. 

His son, Otto Schulz, succeeded him as president. Under his 
aggressive leadership the company has forced its way to the front 
rank of large producers in the piano industry. The business 
started by the German orphan boy has grown to imposing propor- 
tions, with splendid prospects for future development. 

otto Schulz 

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Bom in Suavia about 
60 years ago, John V. Steger 
inlierited all the characteris- 
tics peculiar to the scions of 
the Bajuvarian tribe. Ener- 
getic, shrewd and tenacious, 
they are known to make their 
way, irrespective of sur- 
roundings or conditions. 

At the age of 17 Steger 
landed at Chicago and found 
employment in a brass foun- 
dry. Having accumulated a 
small capital, he formed a 
partnership with a piano 
tuner and opened a piano 
store. It was but a short 
time after, when Steger be- 
came sole owner of the business, in which he prospered beyond his 
fondest dreams. 

Observing how other piano dealers had drifted into piano manu- 
facturing with great success, Steger bought out a small concern 
which owned a factory near Chicago, and following the example 
set by J. P. Hale, commenced to manufacture a commercial piano 
for the wholesale trade. Satisfied with a comparatively small 
margin he soon created a large demand for his product. Around 
the permanently increasing factory buildings in the prairie, the 
town of Steger grew up. Ambitious to be counted among the lead- 
ers of the industry, he made use of every opportunity to enlarge 
his business. A shrewd financier and one of the boldest manip- 
ulators in the piano trade, Steger accumulated great wealth in a 
comparatively short period and is at present counted among the 

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^ largest producers of pianos 
in the west. 

Among the pioneers of 
the western piano trade, 
Julius Bauer & Company 
have always maintained a 
reputation for producing a 
high-grade piano of merit. 
Founded in 1857 by Julius 
Bauer, the business, since 
the death of the founder in 
1884, has been under the able 
management of his son, Wil- 
liam M. Bauer. 

History is made for the 
west by such names as Chick- 
ering Brothers, Bush & Lane, 
George P. Bent, Newman 
Brothers, the Melville Clark Piano Company, Schumann 
Piano Company, Gram-Richtsteig, Grinnell Brothers, the Far- 
rand Company — famous for the manufacture of high-grade 

The fact that Chicago has, during the past decade, become 
the greatest piano market in the world is largely due to the energy 
and enterprise of firms like Smith, Barnes & Strohber Company, 
Price & Teeple, Hobart M. Cable Company, Schaeffer Piano Mfg. 
Company, Cable-Nelson Piano Company, Adam Schaaf, Schiller 
Piano Company, the Haddorff Piano Company, the Straube Piano 
Company, P. A. Starck Company, Arthur P. King, H. P. Nelson 
Company, and others, who manufacture pianos in quantities of 
from 3,000 to 15,000 per year in their modem establishments. It 

Julius Bauer 

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is claimed that the large 
western factories are at 
present able to give the 
greatest value in the market, 
which accounts to some ex- 
tent for the unprecedented 
growth. Although scarcely 
25 years old, the western fac- 
tories supply to-day fully 
half the pianos sold in the 
United States. 

All the pioneers in the 
organ trade of the United 
States have eventually turned 
to piano making, in most in- 
stances discarding the organ 

Farming in New Hamp- 
shire has ever been a most precarious occupation, the rocky 
soil and long winters seldom enabling even a hard-working and 
intelligent farmer to support his family. Jacob Estey was born 
on such a farm near Hinsdale, N. H., on September 30, 1814. 
When only four years of age he had to leave his parents' 
home to be supported by a neighboring farmer. The boy had to 
work very hard for his meals and scant clothing, but, being made 
of the right stuff, he ran away when 13 years of age and escaped 
to Worcester, Mass., where he was apprenticed to a plumber. 
After serving his apprenticeship he took to traveling, following 
his profession, and landed in 1834 at Brattleboro, Vt., the town 
which was to become famous all over the world because of the 
organs which Estey, later on, made there and sent to all parts of 
the globe. 

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In 1835 he established his own plumbing shop. Thrift and 
economy brought him wealth, so that in 1848 he could erect a 
large building on Main Street. The upper part of this building 
he rented to a melodeon maker by the name of Greene. Having 
surplus money to invest, Estey bought an interest in the melodeon 
business, continuing, however, his profitable plumbing establish- 
ment. Fire destroyed the building in 1857, and Estey found him- 
self almost a poor man once more, as all his money had finally 
been invested in the melodeon factory. With the grit of the 
Yankee, Estey did not give up. He had observed the possi- 
bilities of the organ business, and within a year he started again 
to build parlor organs. 

In 1860 he engaged Levi K. Fuller as engineer. Fuller was 
then only 19 years of age, but had studied mechanics so thor- 
oughly that he became most valuable to Estey. The business grew 
by leaps and bounds. Superior quality was the watchword all 
through the factory. Fuller was admitted to partnership to- 
gether with Estey 's son Julius in 1866, when the Estey Organ 
Company was organized with Jacob Estey as president, Levi 
K. Fuller, vice-president, and Julius Estey, secretary and treas- 
urer, From its small beginning the production of the Estey 
factories rose to an output of 1,800 organs per month. The 
Estey factory became the alma mater of a number of young 
students who later on made names for themselves in the organ 
world. Joseph Warren, of Clough & Warren; the four Whites, 
father and sons, of Wilcox & White fame ; Stevens, of the Stevens 
Organ Company; Putnam, of the Putnam Organ Company, 
Wright, of Mason & Hamlin, and last, but not least, Votey, of the 
Aeolian Company, are all graduates of the Estey school of organ 
building. In 1885 the Estey Piano Company was organized, estab- 
lishing a large factory in New York City. Branch stores had been 

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established- in New York, St. 
Louis, Philadelphia, Boston, 
Chicago, London (England), 
and elsewhere. Wherever 
exhibited, the Estey pianos 
and organs carried off high- 
est awards for superior con- 
struction and workman- 

Jacob Estey was a man 
of firm character, molded in 
the school of adversity from 
his earliest childhood, but, 
perhaps because of his own 
sufferings, he became a very 
sympathetic employer and 
enjoyed the respect and love 
of his employees. He died 
on April 15, 1890. 

Levi K. Fuller was a born scientist and did valuable service in 
the improvement of the Estey organ. A great reader and student^ 
he was well versed in acoustics, and his collection of tuning-forks 
and acoustic apparatus exhibited at the World's Fair, Chicago, in 
1893, was honored with a special award by the judges. Fuller 
served as Grovernor of the State of Vermont, and received numer- 
ous other public honors in recognition of his ability. Ambitious 
and conscientious to an exalted degree. Fuller would often over- 
work himself in a manner which finally caused his untimely demise 
on October 10, 1896, at the age of 55. 

Julius Estey, like his father, was an enterprising but careful 
business man. After the death of his two senior partners, the 

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management of the business 
rested upon him, and with 
the inborn Estey spirit he 
sought for new fields in 
which to expand the business 
and spread the fame of the 
name of Estey. He com- 
menced the building of large 
church organs in 1901, erect- 
ing a special factory with the 
most modern equipment for 
that purpose. It was not for 
him to see the full develop- 
ment of this new enterprise. 
He died on March 7, 1902, 
aged 57. His sons, Jacob 
Gray Estey and J. Harry Es- 
tey, succeeded him as man- 
agers, enjoying the services of their trusted oflSce manager, L. 
W, Hawley, who has been in the continued service of the Estey 
Company for over 50 years. 

John Boulton Simpson acquired control of the Arion Piano in 
1869, and manufactured high grade pianos until 1885, when he 
formed a combination with the Esteys, by which the name was 
changed from Arion Piano Company to Estey Piano Company. 

A large factory with modern appliances was erected in New 
York, and the Estey grand and upright pianos soon became a 
dominant factor in the piano trade. John Boulton Simpson 
is still president of the company, assisted by Jacob Gray 
Estey and J. Harry Estey as active business managers, main- 
taining the prestige of the Estey reputation for high-class 

Julius Estey 

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Every now and then we 
hear of a genius, bom on the 
rocky soil of New England, 
who has music in his soul. 
Being the exception, this 
trait, when existing, is usu- 
ally so forceful that such a 
man's life will be entirely 
wrapped up in it, in contra- 
distinction to his fellow- 
Yankee, who as a rule is 
shrewd and practical, but 
cannot whistle a simple tune 
correctly. Henry Kirk White 
was bom and raised on a 
farm near Hartford, Conn. 
His family dates back to 
the good old English stock 

of the early settlers who landed at Nantasket, Mass., in 
1630. Supposed to spend his life on the '* home place,'' Henry 
thought more of music than of farming. With no opportunity 
for musical education, his natural ability made him a teacher 
of singing and leader of choruses at the age of twenty. He 
learned the art of tuning pianos and organs, and traveled from 
place to place following that profession, acquiring valuable knowl- 
edge as to the various constructions of these instruments. In 1845 
he began to make musical instruments and two years later manu- 
factured melodeons at New London. In 1853 he removed his fac- 
tory to Washington, N. J. The Civil War compelled him to 
abandon his enterprise and take up his abode at Philadelphia, where 
he found a rich field as a tuner and repairer of pianos and organs. 

Henry Kirk WTiite 

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He established a reputation 
as an expert tuner, and in 
1865 the great Estey Organ 
Company called him to 
Brattleboro, Vt., as super- 
intendent of their tun- 
ing department. He worked 
with the Estey Company 
twelve years, and during 
that time taught his three 
sons the art of organ making. 
When in 1877 that great 
captain of industry, H. C. 
Wilcox of Meriden, made 
White and his sons a tempt- 
ing offer to start an organ 
factory, the family packed 
U[) their belongings and 
moved to Meriden, Conn. The Wilcox & White Organ Company, 
capitalized at $100,000, was organized, and the White family be- 
gan to make their imprint on the history of organ and piano 
building in the United States. 

The oldest son, James H. White, born on September 26, 1847, 
had served for a number of years in the Wanamaker house at Phila- 
delphia, studying commercial usages and merchandising, before he 
learned organ building at Estey 's. It was but natural, therefore, 
that he should be intrusted with the business management of the 
new concern. Like his father, born with considerable talent and 
love for music, we find him as a young man playing the organ in 
his church at Brattleboro, Vt. 

Having acquired a thorough knowledge of the works of the great 
composers, and being an expert judge o^ tone and tone quality. 

James H. White 

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James H. White would ever 
search for the highest in 
tone production, and, to- 
gether with his brothers, 
supplemented the inventions 
of his father. The records 
of the United States Patent 
OflSce speak volumes of the 
valuable contributions which 
the White family has made 
to the industry, but his 
greatest service to the com- 
pany was the courage and 
energy which he displayed 
in times of stress and dan- 
ger, steering the ship clear 
of breakers and advancing 
the prosperity of the con- 
cern in the face of apparent adversity. Strong as his father and 
brothers were as inventors and technicians, without the artistic 
and commercial genius of James Henry, the company would 
hardly have reached that dominant position which it occupies 

Edward H. White, born April 5, 1855, inherited the inventive 
genius of his father and made his mark, especially by inventing the 
Angelus piano player, which at once brought that company to the 
front in the industry of piano-playing mechanism. He died Sep- 
tember 16, 1899, at the age of forty-four years. 

Howard White, the youngest of the three talented brothers, was 
born on September 9, 1856. After he had mastered all branches of 
the art he was intrusted with the management of the large fac- 
tories, which in the course of time had grown to a huge establish- 

Edward H. \Miite 

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ment. He applied himself 
so zealously to his manifold 
duties that he passed away 
on December 9, 1897, aged 
only forty-one years. The 
founder, Henry Kirk White, 
died January 13, 1907. 
James H. White, the only 
surviving member of the 
founders, still guides the 
destiny of the great corpo- 
ration, which now employs a 
capital of $450,000. 

After the decease of Ed- 
ward and Howard White, 
Frank C. White, son of 
James Henry, was placed in 
charge of the mechanical de- 
partment of the factory. He was always of a very decidedly 
inventive turn of mind, and to him are due many valuable 
improvements and devices that have made the Angelus world 

As a commercial enterprise the Sterling Company of Derby, 
Conn., is one of the earliest successes in history. Taking over the 
assets of what was known as the Birmingham Organ Company in 
1871, Charles A. Sterling organized in 1873 the Sterling Organ 
Company with a capital of $30,000. The manufacturing of pianos 
was commenced in 1885. Shortly after, J. R. Mason joined the com- 
pany, acting as secretary and treasurer until 1901, when he was 
elected to the presidency. A thorough piano-man, with many years 
of experience in the west, where he was bom in 1847, Mason 

Howard White 

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developed the business of 
the company to its present 
magnitude, improving the 
quality of the instruments in 
every respect, being particu- 
larly successful in producing 
a satisfactory player piano. 
The company is now counted 
among the largest producers 
of pianos, and the capital 
stock has been increased 
from $30,000, in 1873, to 

A number of working- 
men skilled in the art of 
organ building, started the 
Detroit Organ Company on 
a co-operative plan in 1881. 
Like all such Utopian undertakings, the enterprise did not suc- 
ceed, and in 1883 C. J. Whitney, a prominent music dealer, and 
E. S. Votey, a practical organ maker, bought the business and in- 
corporated the Whitney Organ Company. In the same year W. R. 
Farrand joined the corporation, assuming the financial manage- 
ment, the manufacturing being in charge of Votey. In 1887 Whit- 
ney retired and the name was changed to the Farrand & Votey 
Company. Ambitious to extend its business, the company com- 
menced to manufacture church organs in 1888. Consummating 
an advantageous deal for all the patents of the renowned organ 
builder, Frank Roosevelt of New York, the company was in a 
position to build most excellent instruments, and scored a decided 
success at the Chicago Exposition of 1893, where Guilmant and 

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Clarence Eddy gave memo- 
rable concerts upon the im- 
mense pipe organ erected by 
the Farrand & Votey Com- 

E. S. Votey displayed his 
ingenuity as an inventor by 
devising many improve- 
ments in church-organ mech- 
anism, and more especially 
in his work on piano players. 
He had such implicit faith 
in the future of the piano 
l)layer that he joined the 
Aeolian Company in 1897, 
buying the pipe-organ and 
player-piano departments of 
the Farrand & Votey Company, and building his first thousand of 
Pianolas in the Detroit shops. The company's name was now 
changed to ** The Farrand Company," and special attention was 
given to its own creation, the Cecilian player piano, an instrument 
of merit and high quality. The company has also put upon the 
market a metallic piano-player action. 

An expert reed-organ builder, Isaac T. Packard interested a 
number of capitalists to start an organ factory at Fort Wayne, 
Ind., in 1871. Packard was a fine mechanic and inventor, produc- 
ing an instrument of superior quality. Under the conservative 
guidance of S. B. Bond, as president of the company, steady 
l)rogress was made, the concern depending more upon the 
superior quality of its product than upon the ordinary business 

J. R. Mason 

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S. B. Bond, born at Lock- 
port, N. Y., October 17, 1833, 
came with his father's family 
as pioneers to Fort Wayne 
in 1842. At the age of 13 
young Bond went to work 
as porter and assistant clerk 
for the State Bank of In- 
diana, which at that time was 
under the management of 
Hugh McCuUoch, who later 
on acquired fame as Lin- 
coln's Secretary of the 
Treasury. In 1874 Bond 
was elected president of the 
Fort Wayne National Bank. 
He remained in the presiden- 
tial chair until December, 

1904, when he resigned in order to devote his whole time to the 
growing business of the Packard Company. 

Although identified with banking from boyhood. Bond was in 
love with the inspiring atmosphere of the organ and piano fac- 
tory, which he always preferred to the cold walls of the bank- 
ing house, though he made his mark in both. He died July 20, 

His son, Albert S. Bond, entered the service of the Packard 
Company as an apprentice at the age of 16, in 1879. After five 
years' experience on the bench, young Albert spent two years 
traveling as salesman for the Company and was elected general 
manager in 1886. Under the guidance of his father he soon ex- 
panded the business. Well educated, with distinct artistic inclina- 
tions and full of progressive enthusiasm, he added the manufacture 


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of pianos in 1893. Main- 
taining the high standard of 
the Packard name, the pi- 
anos were readily accepted 
by the trade as high-class in- 
struments, and since the suc- 
cessful introduction of the 
Packard Player Piano the 
business of the corporation 
has assumed commanding 
proportions. The Packard 
products are valued for 
musical quality of tone and 
most exquisite workmanship 
in all details. 

Another concern which 
has strongly assisted in 
establishing the reputation 
for the highest quality of western-made pianos is the A. 
B. Chase Company of Norwalk, Ohio. Starting in 1875 to 
manufacture organs, it began the making of pianos in 1885. 
A. B. Chase died in 1877, when Calvin Whitney assumed the man- 
agement. Whitney was a strong character, who impressed his 
personality indelibly upon the enterprise. Born at Townsend, Ohio, 
on September 25, 1846, he started in business at the age of 19 
with a capital of $400, which he had saved from his earnings as a 
store clerk. A man of lofty ideals, he aimed in whatever he under- 
took for the highest and purest. With unfaltering faith he con- 
quered all the difficulties which the western pioneer manufacturers 
had to encounter and had the satisfaction of seeing his company 
rank in the lead of high-class piano manufacturers. He was among 

Calvin Whitney 

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the first to take up the player 
piano earnestly, and in 1905 
produced the Aristano grand 
player piano. Whitney died 
on June 6, 1909, having lived 
a strenuous but very useful 
life. L. L. Doud has served 
the company as secretary 
since its start in 1875, and 
still fills his position with 
zeal and ability. W. C. 
Whitney, son of Calvin, edu- 
cated in the factory and office 
of the Chase Company, is 
preparing himself for great- 
er work in the future, acting 
at present as vice-president 
of the company. 

Among the pioneers of the music trade in the west, Hampton 
L. Story's name stands foremost. Born at Cambridge, Vt., June 
17, 1835, he showed an inborn talent for music, and his first em- 
ployment was in a music store at Burlington, Vt., at the princely 
salary of $50 per month and board. Having saved a small capital 
from his wages as schoolteacher, he bought out his principal in 
1859. Not satisfied to be merely a dealer, he joined a piano maker 
by name of Powers, manufacturing the Story & Powers piano in 
1862. This was perhaps the first piano factory in the State of 

The business prospered, but the field was too limited for enter- 
prising Story, and when in 1867 Jacob Estey offered him the 
agency for the Estey organs, in the western states, Story closed out 

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his business at Burlington 
and established himself at 
Chicago. In 1868 he ad- 
mitted Isaac X. Camp as 
partner. The firm of Story 
& Camp soon became one of 
the leaders in the piano and 
organ trade of the west, hav- 
ing stores at Chicago and St. 
Louis, controlling a large 
wholesale and retail trade 
through the entire west. 

With his characteristic 
keenness and foresight, Story 
observed that the west would 
eventually manufacture its 
own musical instruments, 
and he therefore retired from the firm of Story & Camp and 
in 1884, with Melville Clark and his son, Edward H. Story, 
founded the firm of Story & Clark, for the manufacture of reed 

Melville Clark was known as an expert reed-organ builder, who 
had patented many improvements. The business was successful 
from the start, and in 1888 the Story & Clark Organ Company was 
incorporated, witliE. H. Story, son of the founder, as president, and 
Melville Clark, vice-president. The foreign trade grew so rapidly 
that a factory was erected at London, England, in 1892, under the 
management of Charles H. Wagener, and another in 1893 at Berlin, 

The organs designed and made under the supervision of Mel- 
ville Clark were of the highest order in quality and tone, and, when 

E. II. story 

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in 1895 the making of pianos 
was commenced, the same 
high standard was main- 
tained. Melville Clark sev- 
ered his connection with the 
company in 1900, to start the 
Melville Clark Company, 
and the management has 
since been in the hands of 
Edward H. Story. The de- 
mand for pianos increased 
at such a rate that the erec- 
tion of larger factories be- 
came necessary, and in 1901 
the company erected its 
model plants at Grand 
Haven, Mich. Counted 
among the largest producers 

of high-grade pianos, the company is its own distributor, con- 
trolling a chain of warerooms in the principal cities of the United 

Melville Clark's name will forever be printed upon the pages 
of the organ and piano industry as one of the most prolific in- 
ventors. Born in Oneida County, New York, he inherited a love 
for music and became an enthusiastic student. Desirous to learn 
all about the construction of pianos and organs, he served an 
apprenticeship as a tuner and took to traveling. Landing finally 
in California, he started a factory for the production of high-grade 
organs. The enterprise was a success, but the market for the 
product was limited, and in 1877 he sold out his interest. After 
a short stay in Quincy, 111., we find him in 1880 at Chicago making 
organs under the firm name of Clark & Rich. 

Melville Clark 

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In 1884 he joined H. L. Story under the firm name of Story & 
Clark. Desirous of devoting himself entirely to the development 
of the piano-player mechanism, Clark severed his connection with 
the Story & Clark Piano and Organ Company in 1900, after 16 
years of zealous activity, and started the Melville Clark Piano 
Company with a capital of $500,000, erecting modern factory 
buildings at De Kalb, 111. The patent records tell the story of 
Clark's activity and success in his efforts in that direction. Clark 
produced his first 88-note cabinet player in January, 1901, and his 
88-note interior player piano in 1902, while his first grand player 
piano was completed in 1904. He had the satisfaction of seeing 
his self-playing grand piano used in a public concert at New 
Orleans in December, 1906, under the auspices of L. Grunewald & 
Company. Among the many Improvements in player mechanism 
for which Clark obtained patents may be mentioned the appli- 
cation of the downward touch of the key and his transposing 
device, the latter having been adopted by other player-piano 
makers under Clark's patent. 

The career of Frederick Engelhardt, senior partner of Engel- 
hardt & Sons, is interesting. Born in Germany, he came with his 
parents to New York at the age of 10. Having gone through the 
public school, he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. After serv- 
ing his apprenticeship, desirous of seeing something of the life 
of the ** Wild West," he enlisted as a cavalryman in the United 
States Army, and took part in many of the early battles with 
Indians on the far-western plains, narrowly escaping the massacre 
of Custer's force by Sitting Bull. After his discharge from the 
army he entered the employ of the author, and was soon advanced 
to the position of superintendent of the soundboard department 
at the Dolgeville, N. Y., factories. He designed and executed the 
exhibit of that department for the Paris exhibition of 1879, for 
which the highest award was granted by the jury. 

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Ambitious to be more 
than a mere soundboard 
maker, Engelhardt sought a 
position in a piano-action 
factory. He finally found 
employment with Steinway 
& Sons, where for seven 
years he had charge of the 
action department as fore- 
man. In January, 1889, he 
formed a partnership with 
A. P. Roth, who had acquired 
a thorough business training 
in the author's store and 
general offices in New York, 
and the firm of Roth & En- 
gelhardt began business as 
makers of piano actions. In 

1898 the firm placed their first player piano on the market. It was 
known as the *' Peerless " self-playing piano. This was soon 
followed by the ** Harmonist " player piano, and later on 
by the coin-operated automatic player piano with endless tune 

A. P. Roth retired from the firm on January 1, 1908, and Engel- 
hardt admitted his sons, Alfred D. and Walter L., to partnership 
under the firm name of F. Engelhardt & Sons. Still in the prime 
of life, Engelhardt has seen his enterprise grow from the smallest 
beginning to one of the largest establishments of its kind, with 
the prospect that its future is guaranteed by the activity of his 

Another firm which graduated from the Steinway school is 
Wessell, Nickel & Gross, action makers. Otto Wessell, born in 

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Holstein, Germany, in 1845^ 
came to America with his 
parents in 1847. Graduat- 
ing from the New York pub- 
lic school, he was appren- 
ticed to a cabinetmaker, and 
improved upon that by 
learning the piano trade 
afterward. While in the 
employment of Steinway & 
Sons he advanced to a posi- 
tion of trust and responsi- 
bility. In 1875 he started in 
business, forming a partner- 
ship with his colleagues^ 
Nickel and Gross, who were 
also employed as action 
makers by Steinway & Sons. 
Because of their practical experience in producing the high- 
est class of work, the business was a success from the start and 
the firm has ever since maintained the leading position for 

Otto Wessell was a self-made man. With few opportunities in 
his youth, he achieved his prominent position in the business world 
by force of character, unimpeachable integrity and that peculiar 
noblesse and liberality which is usually acquired only by those 
who have to commence at the bottom rung of the ladder. The 
writer often met Otto Wessell, in his early days, at piano fac- 
tories loaded with two upright actions, which he had carried from 
his shop, partly to save the expense of hiring an expressman, but 
also to see whether his customer was satisfied, and a broad smile 

otto Wessell 

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would run over his genial 
face when the actions 
were accepted without 

From those small begin- 
nings Wessell saw his firm 
rise to prominence second 
to none in America, employ- 
ing over 500 hands and 
counting among his custom- 
ers the foremost makers of 
high-class pianos. An inde- 
fatigable worker, Wessell, 
like others of his kind, drew 
too rapidly on nature's 
bounty and passed away on 
Mary 25, 1899, at the age of 
54. The business is con- 
tinued by his partner, Adam Nickel, with Henry Nickel, Jr., and 
Arthur and Fernando Wessell, sons of the founder, as junior 

Among the old-time hammer coverers, John Frederick Schmidt 
stood in the front rank during the period of his activity. Born 
at Marburg, Germany, in 1823, he learned the trade of cabinet- 
making. He went in partnership with Peter De Witt Lydecker in 
1864, succeeding Ole Syverson, who had founded the business in 
1856. In 1877 Lydecker retired, and Schmidt continued until 
1886, when ill health compelled him to seek the quietude of private 
life. His firm has ever enjoyed an enviable reputation for ex- 
cellent workmanship in hammer making. He died on September 
26, 1906. His son, David H. Schmidt, is carrying on the business 
as a corporation with marked ability and success. 

Jolin Frederick Schmidt 

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Charles Pfriemer is an- 
other Steinway graduate 
who made his mark. 

Born in 1842, under the 
shadow of the romantic old 
castle Hohenzollern, where 
the forefathers of the Em- 
peror of Germany dwelt, 
Pfriemer performed his duty 
as a soldier during the Aus- 
tro-Prussian War and came 
to America in the latter part 
of 1866. 

A cabinetmaker by trade, 
he learned hammer making 
in Steinway 's^hop, and later 
Charles Pfriemer on assumed charge of the 

hammer department in Albert Weber's factory. In 1874 he started 
in business on his own account, and was among the first to use 
iron hammer-covering machines. Achieving an enviable reputation 
for making a peculiarly pear-shaped hammer, Pfriemer built up a 
large and lucrative business. He died in 1908. The business is 
carried on by his two sons. 

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Influence of Piano Virtuosos upon the Industry 


Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rubinstein, BiQow, Joseffy, Rosen* 
thai, Carreno, de Pachmann, Busoni, Paderewski, Hofmann« 

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THE great virtuosos 
and teachers of the 
piano have ever been 
valuable helpmates of the pi- 
ano maker. He receives his 
inspirations from their play- 
ing on the one hand, and is 
continually spurred to great- 
er efforts by their never- 
ceasing demands for a per- 
fect action, greater and 
purer tone. 

In contrast to the violin, 
which was almost perfect 
from its first appearance, 
the piano required more 

than 200 years for develop- Johann Sebastian Bach 

ment, and the last word has not yet been said. Handel, Haydn, 
and even Mozart, with their sweet, heavenly music, could 


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be satisfied with the clavi- 
chord and harpsichord. In 
their days music was the en- 
tertainment of the privileged 
higher classes, who assem- 
bled in salons to play cham- 
ber music of a pleasing and 
enchanting, but not soul- 
stirring, character. Johann 
Sebastian Bach, that titan of 
the organ, felt the need of 
something stronger, more 
l)ositive and powerful than 
the clavichord, and it was he 
who aroused Silbermann to 
greater efforts in piano 
building, when he con- 
demned his first pianos in unmeasured terms. 

Bach must have had a divine inspiration as to the ultimate 
development of the piano when he wrote his immortal composi- 
tions for that instrument, which was then in its infancy. It is 
questionable whether Silbermann, the organ builder, would have 
striven to improve his piano but for Bach's criticism, which hurt 
the feelings of the proud and sensitive artisan and made him re- 
solve to construct a piano which would compel Bach's favorable 
comment and approval. And it was the great cantor of the Thomas 
School of Leipsic who gave the first testimonial to a piano maker, 
when he played upon and praised the improved Silbermann pianos 
at the New Palace at Potsdam in the presence of Frederick the 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

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Bach's son, Johann 
Christian Bach, did not 
hesitate to serve as demon- 
strator of the piano, with 
the avowed purpose of mak- 
ing propaganda for the pi- 
ano as a musical instrument. 
He went to London, tak- 
ing several German pianos 
along, and there gave a num- 
ber of piano recitals. His 
first concert in June, 1763, 
was a revelation to the music 
lovers of London. Never be- 
fore had they listened to 
such brilliant playing, nor 
had they heard such tones, 
so much more forceful than 

the clavichord and equally more musical than the harpsichord tone. 
Bach aroused the London harpsichord makers to the study of the 
new instrument. 

Then came young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who discarded 
the clavichord and was most happy to discover at Augsburg the 
Stein piano with an action which ** did not block." He wrote to 
his mother an enthusiastic testimonial for the Stein piano, praising 
Stein as an artisan who did not build pianos to make money, but 
for the love of his art. Stein always tried to meet Mozart's de- 
mands, and finally presented to Beethoven a grand piano of six 
octaves and for years it served the master for his composing. 
But Beethoven wanted still more. Six octaves were too small a 
compass for the symphonic tone pictures which raved in his soul, 

Ludwig von Beethoven 

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and his admiring friend 
Nannette Stein-Streicher, 
bad to build for bim a six 
and one-balf octave grand 

We of tbe present day, 
used to iron-frame construc- 
tion, tbe aid of machinery, 
etc., can scarcely conceive 
wbat difficulties tbat ingen- 
ious woman piano builder en- 
countered wben sbe attempt- 
ed to meet Beethoven's de- 
sire for extended compass 
and greater tone, but sbe suc- 
ceeded, and Beethoven wrote 
many letters to her, every 
one of them a grand testi- 
monial for tbe Nannette Stein-Streicher piano. 

Like Bach, Beethoven was powerful, titanic. He admired the 
strong, tbe mighty, tbe forceful, and wben John Broadwood sent 
bim one of his improved grand pianos from far-away London, 
Beethoven, in spite of bis sincere friendship for Nannette, wrote 
to London regarding the piano, '* I shall regard it as an altar 
upon which I shall place tbe most beautiful offerings of my spirit 
to the divine Apollo." 

Chopin, that most poetic of all composers, and, in his day, 
boldest of all performers, allowed his admiration for the Pleyel 
piano and his personal friendship for tbe maker to control him 
to such an extent that he would not play on any other piano if 
he could obtain a Pleyel. 

Frederic Chopin 

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Franz Liszt in his early 
days was a '* holy terror '^ 
for piano manufacturers. 
His colossal technique and 
powerful stroke demanded 
an action of superlative con- 
struction and workmanship. 
It is said that at his first con- 
cert at the Leipsic Gewand- 
haus in 1840, being in an ugly 
mood because he could not 
have his favorite French pi- 
ano to play upon, he smashed 
a number of hammers off the 
action with his very first 
chords, so that another piano 
had to be provided. 

Perhaps no other virtu- 
oso has forced the piano makers so persistently to never- 
ceasing efforts to improve the strength and pliability of the 
action as Liszt, who almost invariably required two grand 
pianos for an evening concert. His forceful touch and 
rapid execution, after one hour's playing, would put most of the 
pianos made in that early period out of tune, hence we can under- 
stand later on, when the iron-frame construction and the mod- 
ern action came into universal use, why Liszt did not spare his 
approving testimonials for the creations of Steinway, Bosendorfer, 
Ibach and others. All of the master builders aimed to con- 
struct grand pianos which would meet the taxing demands of 
Liszt so that they could obtain his testimonial, the highest possible 
indorsement of piano quality. 

Franz Liszt 

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Next to Liszt, Anton Ru- 
binstein will perhaps be 
recorded as the greatest pi- 
ano virtuoso — Rubinstein 's 
art developed with the piano. 
In 1840, as a boy of 10, he 
played on the delicate pianos 
then made in Paris, but 
later on Becker as well as 
Schroder, of St. Petersburg, 
built for him modern grand 
pianos, playing which he 
could allow his genius free 
rein, fearless of conse- 
quences to the piano. 

Whoever has heard Ru- 
binstein, while he was in his 
prime, knows that he sur- 
passed even Liszt in forceful attacks on the piano, and, next to 
Liszt, Rubinstein has made greater propaganda for the piano than 
any other virtuoso. His testimonials were sought for, and he 
gave them freely and willingly to the many makers of meritorious 
grand pianos. 

That scholarly genius, Hans von Billow, was hard to please in 
his choice of pianos. Not of that storming temperament of a 
Liszt or Rubinstein, Billow rather discouraged great volume of 
tone, demanding a sensuous mellowness, which he could at will, if 
necessary, raise to thundering chords by that wonderful control 
which he had over his technique. How adverse Biilow was to being 
considered a demonstrator of piano quality is illustrated by an 
incident which happened on liis American journey in 1875 and 

Ad ton Rubinstein 

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Steinway Hall, New York 

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1876. As is the custom in 
all American concerts, a 
large sign, bearing the name 
of the maker of the piano, 
was placed on the side of the 
piano toward the audience. 
When Billow came out on the 
platform he noticed the 
sign, and, in a rage, tore it 
from the piano, threw, it 
onto the floor and, tramp- 
ing upon it, cried loudly to 
the audience, '' I am not an 
advertising agent," after 
which he sat down and 
played as inspiringly as 
ever, and finally gave the Hans von Bttiow 

piano maker a strong testimonial, praising the superior qualities 
of the piano. 

Who has not listened to Rafael Joseffy's wonderful pianissimo 
passages and wondered how the same piano upon which Liszt and 
Rubinstein had thundered could sing like music from heavenly 
spheres under Joseffy's wonderful touch. To satisfy Joseflfy's 
demands for elasticity of touch and pure tone quality is a master's 
task, yet we find that a great many piano builders proudly point to 
Joseflfy's indorsement. 

Josef Hofmann, who astonished the world as a *^ wonder child '^ 
and now, in his manhood, is considered the reincarnation of Liszt 
and Rubinstein combined, is not only a great pianist and musician 
but also a genius as a mechanician, capable of appreciating the dif- 
ficulties confronting the piano maker in his efforts to satisfy the 
virtuoso's demands, and therefore does not hesitate to express his 

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satisfaction with the piano 
lie plays upon. 

Moriz Rosenthal is an- 
other of the virtuosos who 
demands much of the piano 
maker. Sensitive to an ex- 
traordinary degree, Rosen- 
thal insists upon an evenness 
of scale, singing quality, but 
also powerful tone, in order 
to exhibit his masterly con- 
trol of phrasing, which 
makes his rendering of 
Liszt's Don Juan para- 
phrase so captivating. 

And what of the dream- 
ing Paderewski, the lyric 
de Pachmann, the versatile 
Busoni, or captivating Carrenof Do they not call for ex- 
traordinary display of genius on the part of the piano makers, 
and are our present-day master builders not equal to their 
demands! The many testimonials, clothed in phraseology 
which does not permit of doubt or misinterpretation, prove that 
they do satisfy all the demands made upon them, and thus 
the influence of these exacting virtuosos becomes of immeas- 
urable benefit to the industry of the day, as it has been from the 

Many virtuosos, like Clementi, Cramer, Kalkbrenner, Pleyel, 
Herz and others, took such intense interest in the development of 
the piano that they invested their money earned on the concert 
platform in piano factories and took an active part, trying to 
construct such instruments as they desired for their art. Many 

Rafael Joseffy 

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an improvement can be 
traced to these virtuoso- 
piano makers, notably the 
Herz-Erard grand piano 

The erection of concert 
halls by piano manufactur- 
ers is entirely due to the in- 
fluence of the virtuosos. 
Very few cities had concert 
halls possessing the neces- 
sary acoustic qualifications 
for piano recitals, conse- 
quently Broadwood built his 
recital hall in London; at 
Paris the Salles Erard, 
Pleyel and Herz appeared; 
in New York, Steinway, 

Chickering and Steck halls were erected; Vienna has its Saal 
Bosendorfer and the Saal Ehrbar, and in Berlin we find the Saal 
Bliithner — all of them built for the purpose of permitting the 
player's virtuosity and the piano's tonal qualities to be heard under 
most favorable conditions. 

Moriz Rosenthal 

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Value of Testimonials 

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THE impression pre- 
vails, more or less, 
that testimonials of 
artists are bought by the pi- 
ano manufacturers, a misap- 
prehension equally unjust to 
the artist and the piano 
maker. No virtuoso who is 
accepted by the music-loving 
public as an artist will give 
a testimonial praising the 
quality of any piano un- 
less he has thoroughly 
satisfied himself by a se- 
vere test that it meets 
his most exacting require- 

When Franz Liszt, who 
admired the Erard, wrote to Bosendorfer, ** The perfection of 
your grand piano surpasses my most idealistic expectations," 


De Pachmann 

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and then wrote to Steinway, 
** Your grand piano is a 
glorious masterpiece in 
power, sonority, singing 
quality and perfect har- 
monic effects," he used for- 
cible language to express his 

Rubinstein is on record 
for unstinted praise of the 
Ehrbar, Pleyel, Bliithner and 
many other pianos. After 
using the Steinway in 215 
consecutive concerts ** with 
eminent satisfaction and ef- 
fect," he so stated. Rafael 
Joseffy used the Bosendor- 
fer, Bliithner, Erard and Chickering pianos and expressed his ad- 
miration for all of them because they merited such, and now plays 
the Steinway. De Pachmann dreams his Chopin interpretations 
upon all celebrated pianos and goes into ecstasies over the Bald- 
win. Exacting Billow, averse to anything smacking of advertising, 
gave tone and character to the opening of the Saal Bosendorfer at 
Vienna and of Chickering Hall in New York, but did not overlook 
the merits of the Irmler nor the Broadwood and many others. 
Teresa Carreno finds great pleasure in playing the Bliithner, 
Schiedmayer, Weber and Steinway, and indorses the Everett as 
^* a distinct achievement in piano construction." Ossip Gabrilo- 
witsch admires Becker, lauds the power and brilliancy of the Ever- 
ett and praises *' the phenomenal carrying and singing quality " 
of the Mason & Hamlin. Moriz Rosenthal is *' enchanted " with 

Teresa Carreno 

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Bosendorfer, uses the Stein- 
way with great satisfaction 
and considers the Weber 
** sublime." Sofie Menter 
plays the Erard, describes 
the volume of tone in the 
Steinway as ** tremendous," 
and tells Bosendorfer that 
* * nothing gives her greater 
pleasure than to play on his 
pianos." Paderewski made 
his reputation with the Stein- 
way, and has words of praise 
for the Erard and Weber. 
Josef Hofmann, who played 
the Weber on his first Amer- 
ican tour and the Schroder 
while studying with Rubinstein, says, ** I use the Steinway because 
I know it is the best." 

And so forth ad infinitum! All of which goes to prove that the 
leaders in the piano industry keep abreast of the times and know 
how to build pianos to satisfy the great exponents of the art of 
piano playing. Why should a piano virtuoso confine himself to 
one make of piano! The violin virtuoso plays on a Stradivarius, 
Amati, Guarnerius, a Vuillaun;ie, Bausch or Gemiinder — all of them 
master builders. 

It is true that in some instances, and especially in America, the 
piano maker has to assume the role of financial backer of a piano 
virtuoso's concert journey, because the artist must have a guar- 
antee, but that does not involve dishonest public expression of 
opinion regarding the value of the piano used by the virtuoso. If 

I. J. Paderewski 

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the piano is not of the high- 
est order, the artist cannot 
afford to use it, no matter 
what financial consideration 
might be offered, because, if 
he should use a poor piano 
in his concerts, his own 
reputation as a performer 
might be ruined. 

Since the piano manufac- 
turer craves the indorse- 
ment of leading performers, 
he naturally is exceedingly 
liberal in his treatment of 
artists. He willingly as- 
*^ sumes all the risks of a con- 
cert journey, sends his pi- 
anos for the use of the artist wherever he may require them and 
is solicitous for the artist's personal comfort, just as Nannette 
Stein-Streicher cared for Beethoven 170 years ago. Modern 
piano makers go beyond that. They assume all the risk, 
willingly granting to the artist all possible benefits. It is of 
record that not many years ago a piano house made a con- 
tract with a pianist, guaranteeing him $30,000 for a season's 
concert journey, no matter what the proceeds might be. It was 
a gamble, because the artist was entirely unknown in America. 
The guaranteed sum was more than the artist had earned in his 
entire career, and he was, of course, elated over his good fortune. 
Then, how surprised was he when, at the end of his journey, the 
piano maker handed him his check for an additional $15,000, be- 
cause the concerts had drawn full houses, for which fact the in- 

Josef Hofmann 

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telligent and bold advertising of the piano house, to a large 
extent, deserved the credit. The artist's name, fame and fortune 
were made in his first American season. 

The virtuoso who plays the piano is the expert, capable of 
rendering judgment as to quality and volume of tone, touch, etc. 
His favorable testimonial is desirable and becomes valuable 
through its influence upon the piano-buying public. The fact that 
every virtuoso willingly gives his indorsement to many pianos, 
all of which he has tested in his concert work, does not detract 
from the value of the testimonial. On the contrary, it enhances 
the same, to the interest of the industry. The value of artists' 
testimonials has ever been an incentive to progressive piano makers 
to improve their instruments so that the greatest virtuoso cannot 
well refuse to play upon them. 

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National Associations of Manufacturers and Dealers in Europe 
and America. 

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WHEN, through the advance of the factory system, the 
guilds of the various trades disappeared, no other or- 
ganization took their place for a long time, and, 
instead of the old-time harmony of the members of an industry, 
the rivalry became so intense that competitors in business looked 
upon each other as enemies. Once in a while a strike on the 
part of the workingmen would bring the bosses together for a 
consultation, but even those meetings usually lacked harmony. 
However, the evident solidarity of interests finally forced a closer 
connection and we learn of the organization of the ** Chambre 
Syndicale of Manufacturers of Pianos " and the *' Chambre Syn- 
dicale of Manufacturers of Musical Instruments," of Paris in 1853. 
Both chambers were merged into one organization in 1889 under 
the name of ** Chambre Syndicale of Manufacturers of Musical 
Instruments." This organization was presided over by Mons. 
Thibouville-Lamy until 1896, since which time Mons. Gustave Lyon 
of Pleyel, Lyon & Company has been acting as president. 

The object and purpose of this association is defined in its 
constitution as follows: 


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(1) To strengthen the re- 
lations between all the mem- 
bers of the industry. 

(2) To facilitate the de- 
velopment of their pros- 

(3) To support all claims 
and requests regarding du- 
ties, taxes, railroad and in- 
surance rates, etc. 

(4) To furnish members 
information regarding the fi- 
nancial standing of clients, 
and finally to maintain 
loyalty and dignity in their 
commercial relations. The 
annual dues are 20 francs 
for each member. No for- 
eign manufacturer can belong to the chamber until he has 
been established in France 10 years and the majority of his 
products are manufactured in France. The officers are: a 
president, two vice-presidents, a secretary-general, a keeper of 
records, a treasurer and an assistant secretary. The election of 
officers is held annually. The organization is divided into five 
groups, as follows: 

(1) Piano Industry (pianos and organs). 

(2) Wind Instruments (wood and brass). 

(3) String Instruments (violins, etc.). 

(4) Supplies. 

(5) Automatic Instruments. 

Each group has its own organization, with a president and 

Gustave Lyon 

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In case of differences 
among members, with each 
other or with outsiders in 
connection with the industry, 
the president appoints a 
committee of arbitration, 
whose members shall act as 
friendly advisers to the dis- 
puting parties. All decisions 
of the chamber are subject 
to the vote of the majority. 
Every member must pay 
special dues of 12 francs an- 
nually to meet extraordinary 
expenses and strengthen the 

Austria has no national 
organization of the music 

trades, but a number of local associations, of which the 
** Association of Musical Instrument Makers of Grasslitz " is 
the oldest. It was founded in 1883, has over 300 members and 
supports a school in which young men are taught the technical 
and practical making of instruments. 

The Vienna piano and organ makers formed an association in 
1905. Its aims and purposes are similar to those of the '* Paris 
Chambre Syndicale." Franz Schmidt is acting president and 
Friedrich Ehrbar, one of the directors. Ludwig Bosendorfer is 
the only honorary member of the body. 

Germany has a large number of associations for the various 
branches of the music industries. The ** Association of Piano 
Manufacturers " was organized at Leipsic in 1893 with Adolf 

Adolf Schiedmayer 

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Schiedmayer as president. 
The '' Church Organ Build- 
ers " followed in 1895, 
** Musical Instrument Mak- 
ers " in 1897 and the '' Pi- 
ano Dealers " in 1899. The 
*' National Association of 
Piano Manufacturers " pur- 
sues the same objects as its 
Paris contemporary, but in 
addition thereto has entered 
upon an effective policy of 
practical aid to its mem- 
bers. It is, for instance, 
compulsory for each manu- 
facturer to educate a num- 
Cari Andrt ^^j. ^f apprentices propor- 

tionate to the number of men employed in his factory. The ener- 
getic president of the association. Privy Commercial Counselor 
Adolf Schiedmayer of Stuttgart, is organizing a trade school for 
piano makers in that city, to assure the education of young men in 
the scientific theories and practice of piano building. This is the 
first institution of its kind, and when fully established will be of 
great service to the industry at large. The school is mainly sup- 
ported by contributions from members of the associations and 
enjoys the protection and aid of the royal government of 

The *' National Association of Piano Dealers," with head- 
quarters at Leipsic, has, from its inception, under the able leader- 
ship of President Carl Andre of Frankfort, a./M., inaugurated 
and carried on a most energetic campaign against fraudulent ad- 

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vertising, sham sales and all dishonest or disreputable methods 
prevalent in the piano trade, with excellent results. The associa- 
tion has 344 active members and maintains a bureau of informa- 
tion, publishing periodically confidential circulars containing rec- 
ords of objectionable people dealing in pianos and other trade 

In October, 1908, the various organizations formed the '' Na- 
tional Association of Musical Instrument Industries," without, 
however, disturbing the existing organizations. This national 
association has its headquarters at Leipsic and is subdivided ter- 
ritorially into three sections, with bureaus at Leipsic, Berlin and 
Stuttgart. The management is in the hands of a president, Adolf 
Schiedmayer of Stuttgart; a vice-president and treasurer, Her- 
mann Feurich of Leipsic, and a vice-president and secretary. Max 
Bliithner of Leipsic. The main purpose of this association is to 
represent the entire industries as a body in matters of tariff laws, 
transportation, factory regulations, etc., seeking to harmonize the 
needs and wants of the various special organizations of the Ger- 
man Empire. 

The '' Music Trade Association of Great Britain " was or- 
ganized in March, 1886, with Sir Herbert Marshall as president. 
The principal object of this association is *' to extend a watchful 
regard over all matters affecting the retail trade and to give 
timely information to the members," and, further, *' to hold con- 
ferences for the interchange of views on questions of general trade 
interest, and generally to co-operate and take such combined action 
in defense of the just interests of the retail trade as may be found 

The ** Pianoforte Manufacturers' Association " of London, 
founded in 1887 — George D. Rose, president — has as its object: 
'* To promote and protect the various interests of the music trade 
generally, to promote and support or oppose legislative or other 

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measures affecting the aforesaid interests ; to secure the more eco- 
nomical and effectual winding up of the estates of bankrupts or 
insolvent debtors ; to endeavor to secure prosecution of fraudulent 
debtors, and to undertake, if requested by both parties, settlement 
by arbitration." 

In the United States the piano manufacturers of New York 
organized the first association in the fall of 1890. William E. 
Wheelock was elected first president and served until 1893. Later 
on a number of local associations of piano manufacturers and 
dealers were organized who combined in August, 1897, to form the 
^* National Piano Manufacturers' Association of America." Its 
object is the furtherance of: 

(1) A better acquaintance among the members of the trade, 
good-fellowship and interchange of views on topics of mutual 

(2) The ethics of the piano trade. 

(3) Territorial rights of manufacturers and dealers in regard 
to selling pianos. 

(4) A uniform warranty. 

(5) The products of supply houses : i.e., the question of stamp- 
ing the manufacturer's name upon piano parts furnished by the 
supply houses to the trade. 

(6) The relation of the manufacturers to the music-trade 

(7 and 8) To obtain reductions in insurance and transportation 

(9) The establishment of a bureau of credits. 

(10) Legislation by united action; that more uniform laws 
shall be enacted in several States regarding conditional sales, and 
such other matters of importance to the piano trade as may come 
up from time to time. 

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Presidents of the National Association of Piano l^lanufacturers of America from 

1897 to 1911 

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Presidents of the National Association of Piano Dealers of America from 1902 to 1911 

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The association is governed by a president, two vice-presidents, 
a treasurer, secretary and assistant secretary. Contrary to the 
European system, where oflScers, once elected, are regularly re- 
elected as long as they are able to attend to their duties with effi- 
ciency, this association changes its governing board (with the 
exception of the assistant secretary) annually. 

The '' National Association of Piano Dealers of America " was 
organized in May, 1902. Its object is tersely stated in its consti- 
tution, as follows: 

'' The object of this association shall be the mutual elevation 
of trade interests." Its by-laws provide for the following board: 
a president, four vice-presidents, a commissioner for each State 
and Territory (to be known as state commissioners), a secretary, 
a treasurer, and an executive board consisting of the president, 
secretary, treasurer and four members of the association. The 
officers are elected at the annual meeting and usually a new set 
is chosen each year. The membership is divided into active and 
associate members. The latter class takes in any one engaged in 
any branch of the musical industry not otherwise eligible. The 
annual dues are $10 for active and $5 for associate members. The 
association has a membership of over 1,000, and has done very 
effective work in guarding the ethics of the piano trade, and is 
making strenuous efforts for the general introduction of the one- 
price system. 

National piano exhibitions have lately -been held in connection 
with the annual dealers' conventions, apparently to the benefit of 
both dealers and manufacturers. 

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The Trade Press — ^Its Value to the Industry. 

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IN America the piano-trade press evolved slowly and, after 
many interruptions from so-called musical journals, the first 
of which, the *' American Musical Journal," was founded 
in 1835. It carried some advertisements of piano manufacturers 
and would publish, off and on, items which at that time were con- 
sidered trade news. 

In 1843 Henry C. Watson established his *' Musical Chronicle '* 
in New York. Watson was a most remarkable man, equally gifted 
and learned as a musician as he was as a writer, and withal a man 
of business. He saw the necessity of enlisting the active support 
of the piano manufacturers for his journal and endeavored hon- 
estly to render value for such support. Thus Watson became the 
founder of piano-trade journalism. It is to be regretted that space 
does not permit a complete record of the brilliant career of this 
interesting character. 

Born in London on November 4, 1818, he appeared at Covent 
Garden in '* Oberon " at the age of nine, singing the part of a 
** fairy." In 1841 he came to New York, welcomed by such men 
as William Cullen Bryant, Horace Greeley and others of like stand- 
ing. He was immediately engaged as a musical critic for the 

'* New World," then edited by Greeley. Besides his duties as a 
critic and also writing lyrics and composing songs, Watson man- 


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aged to publish the '* Broad- 
way Journal," enlisting Ed- 
gar Allan Poe as editor. He 
found, however, his real field 
of usefulness in his ** Mu- 
sical Chronicle," in which he 
interested Jonas Chickering 
as well as the leaders among 
the New York piano manu- 
facturers. He had discovered 
that the interests of musical 
art and the interests of the 
piano industry were interde- 
pendent and that the one 
must support the other for 
mutual benefit. He, there- 
fore, devoted considerable 
energy to the propaganda of the x^iano. In course of time he 
changed the title of his publication to ** Musical Times," 
'* Philharmonic Journal " and finally to ** The American 
Art Journal." He was one of the founders of the Philharmonic 
Society and also organized the Mendelssohn Union of New 

As musical critic of the ** New York Tribune " and editor-in- 
chief of '* Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper," Watson was for 
many years one of the pillars of musical life in America. He died 
on December 4, 1875, at the age of 57. '* The American Art Jour- 
nal " was continued by Watson's pupil, William M. Thoms, until 
his retirement in 1906. 

The *' Music Trade Review," founded in November, 1875, by 
John C. Freimd, appeared for about two years; it was followed 
in 1878 by the *' Musical Times," which soon changed to *' Musical 

Henry C. Watson 

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and Dramatic Times." In 1881 Freund started a journal called 
*' Music," which title was changed to ^' Music and Drama." 
*' Freund 's Weekly " appeared in 1884. Soon changed to *' Music 
and Drama." In 1887 Freund joined J. Travis Quigg in publish- 
ing the '' American Musician," and in 1893 he started, with Milton 
Weil, '' Music Trades." 

Charles Avery Wells established the '' Music Trade Journal " 
in 1876, which he changed to the *' Musical Critic and Trade Re- 
view " in 1879. In January, 1888, Edward Lyman Bill bought an 
interest in the journal and soon became sole owner. He changed 
it from a fortnightly to a weekly, under the title of ^' Music Trades 
Review," making it the first trade paper published in America 
devoted exclusively to the music industries. He has also published 
several valuable treatises on piano construction, in book form, 
which are enumerated elsewhere. 

In 1880 Harry E. Freund began to conduct a journal called 
*' Music and Drama," which title he later changed to '' Musical 

William E. Nickerson started the ** Musical and Dramatic 
News " in 1877. It went into the hands of the Lockwood 
Press, who sold the same to Marc A. Blumenberg in 1881, and 
the name was changed to *' Musical Courier." In 1897 Blumen- 
berg separated the musical and industrial departments^ 
publishing the ** Musical Courier Extra " strictly as a trade 

** The Indicator," established by Orrin L. Fox at Chicago in 
1880, devoted to the liberal arts and art industries, was changed 
into an organ for musical industries exclusively, being the first 
in the field to make effective propaganda for the piano industry of 
the west. 

'' The Presto " was founded at Chicago by Frank A. Abbott in 

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1883. The '* Presto Year Book " is a very valuable, historical 
compendium of trade events. Abbott associated himself in 1894 
with C. A. Daniell, who holds tlie responsible position as editor-in- 
chief of the various Presto publications. 

The ** Chicago Musical Times " was started by William E. 
Nickerson in 1885, and has been developed to its present com- 
manding position by C. B. Harger, who acquired control in 1895. 

George B. Armstrong established his dignified monthly jour- 
nal, '' The Piano Trade," at Chicago in 1903. 

In 1910 C. A. Daniell assumed the management of the '* Piano 
Magazine," an illustrated monthly published in New York City. 
This publication treats mainly of the historical, musical and tech- 
nical aspects of the piano and allied musical industries in an enter- 
taining manner, thus differing from the trade journals which deal 
mainly with the news of the day. 

The ** Zeitschrift fur Instrumentenbau " was established by 
Paul de Wit at Leipsic in 1880 and has a wide circulation all over 

The *' Welt-Adressbuch " of musical industries, compiled and 
published by Paul de Wit, is a most valuable reference book. It 
contains the names of all the firms connected in any way with 
musical industries in all parts of the world. 

The ** Musik Instrumenten-Zeitung," published in Berlin, was 
started in 1890. 

In England the '* London and Provincial Music Trades Re- 
view " was established in London in 1877; *' Musical Opinion and 
Music Trade Review," also a monthly publication, often contains 
valuable contributions of interest to the piano trade. '' The Piano 
Journal " is a monthly devoted entirely to the interests of piano 
makers and dealers. The monthly journal, *' Music," also makes 
reference to trade topics. 

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The Importance and Value of the Trade Press to the Piano 


As the government of a nation is only the reflex of the indi- 
viduals composing the nation, so is the trade press the reflex of 
the individuals composing an industry. The character of a trade 
press is stamped upon it by its patrons. The earlier piano-trade 
papers, after Watson's time, allowed themselves to be used by a 
group of firms, from which they received liberal financial support. 
This tended to demoralization, and the cry of blackmail was heard. 
The papers depending on this one-sided support had a precarious 
existence, and had to go to the wall whenever the extra subsidy was 
withheld. Questionable methods were resorted to, off and on, to 
compel more liberal financial support from the piano makers. 

The conditions existing in the piano trade some 30 years ago 
were such as really to infect part of the trade press with the 
bacillus of coercion. But, after all, the papers which did pursue 
a policy of coercion became unconsciously '* ein theil von jener 
kraft, die boses will und gutes schafft." Repeated failures of the 
most aggressive papers of that character proved the error of 
playing champion for one. or more firms, and the various later 
publications started out with the pronounced policy of aiding the 
entire industry and injuring none. Success followed this policy, 
and the piano trade of to-day has in its trade press a great help- 
mate which is worthy of the support it enjoys. 

It is altogether wrong to consider the support of a clean trade 
paper as a tax. Every laborer is worthy of his hire, and the more 
liberally the trade press is supported the better service it can 
render, a service needed by the trade and obtainable only through 
a well-organized press. 

That music-trade journalism is an honorable profession has 

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been demonstrated by its founder, Henry C. Watson, who enjoyed 
the respect and warm friendship of his supporters as well as that 
of the community at large. The value of an honest and able trade 
press is almost unmeasurable in the coin of the realm. From year 
to year the piano-trade press has grown in dignity and usefulness, 
and, just as soon as the industry itself gets entirely upon the 
plane of legitimate business methods, whatever may be objection- 
able in the trade press of to-day will then of necessity die its nat- 
ural death. 

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Literature on the Pianoforte 

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THE first attempt to write a history of the pianoforte was 
made in 1830 by M. Fetis, '' Sketch of the History of the 
Pianoforte and the Pianists,'' a laborious effort by a bril- 
liant writer, but of little value to the piano maker. 

Kusting's *' Practisches Handbuch der Pianoforte Baukunst,'* 
Berne, 1844, is a more practical treatise than Fetis' attempt, but 
antiquated and only of interest to the historian. The same may be 
said of the interesting work of Professor Fischhof, *' Versuch 
einer Geschichte des Clavierbaues," Vienna, 1853. 

Welcker von Gontershausen published in 1860 *' Der Clavierbau 
in seiner Theorie, Technik und Geschichte," a fourth edition of 
which was printed in 1870 by Christian Winter, Frankfurt a./M. 

As a practical piano maker, fairly well posted on the laws of 
acoustics and thoroughly acquainted with the characteristics of all 
known musical instruments, Welcker has given a work of interest 
and value. It is to be regretted that his extreme patriotism and 
rather biased opinion do not permit him to do full justice to 
pianos made in other countries than Germany. Aside from this 
fault, his book is to be recommended to the studious piano maker 
as well as the student of musical-instrument lore. 

Dr. Ed. F. Eimbault published in 1860, in London, his ambitious 
work, '^ The Pianoforte." Written at the time when the English 


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piano industry was at its height, it is pardonable that the author 
laid his emphasis on English efforts and achievements rather at 
the expense of the French, German and Austrian schools. It must 
be assumed that the achievements of the latter were not known 
to him in their entirety and importance. Especial credit is, how- 
ever, due to Rimbault for having produced documentary evidence 
of Christofori's priority as inventor of the pianoforte. 

G. F. Sievers of Naples, an able piano maker, published in 1868 
his '* n Pianoforte Guida Practica,'' with a special atlas showing 
piano actions in natural size and therefore of great value to the 
piano student. 

Dr. Oscar Paul, a professor at the Conservatory of Music in 
Leipsic, wrote in 1868, ** Geschichte des Claviers.^' The learned 
professor of music failed to do justice to the title of his book. 
Entirely unacquainted with the practical art of piano making, he 
assumes an authority which is amusing to the knowing reader. 
Like Welckers, Dr. Paul suffers too much from German egotism. 
All through the book the effort of ascribing all progress in piano 
construction to his countrjTnen is painfully palpable, he even go- 
ing so far as to imply that Christofori had copied Schroter's in- 
vention, an effort which demonstrates Paul's ignorance of action 
construction. However, the book contains suflScient good matter 
to repay reading it. Published by A. H. Payne, Leipsic. 

For the practical piano maker who reads German, the '* Lehr- 
buch des Pianofortebaues," by Julius Bluthner and Heinrich 
Gretschel, published in 1872 and revised by Robert Hannemann in 
1909, Leipsic, Bernh. Friedr. Voigt, offers much valuable infor- 
mation, treating with great care the construction of the piano and 
the materials, tools and machinery used in the manufacturing of 
the instrument. It also has a short essay on acoustics written by 
Dr. Walter Niemann, who furthermore contributes a history of the 
piano up to the time of the general introduction of the iron frame. 

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Edgar Brinsmead's *^ History of the Pianoforte,'' London, 1889, 
dwells too much upon the achievements of the firm of Brinsmead 
& Sons and loses all importance when compared to A. J. Hipkins' 
** Description and History of the Pianoforte," published by No- 
vello & Company, London, 1896. An earnest scholar and careful 
writer, Hipkins successfully avoids the many pitfalls of the lexicog- 
raphers and gives a clear and succinct description of the develop- 
ment of the piano from its earliest stages to the modern concert 
grand. The book is well worth careful perusal by anyone inter- 
ested in the piano industry. 

Daniel Spillane's *' History of the American Pianoforte," New 
York, 1890, is an interesting compendium showing the development 
of the piano industry in the new world, with sidelights upon the 
men who have been most prominent in that sphere. 

Edward Quincy Norton, a piano maker of long and manifold 
experience, wrote his '* Construction and Care of the Pianoforte " 
in 1892. This book, published by Oliver Ditson & Company of 
Boston, contains valuable suggestions for tuners and repairers, 
and is still meeting with a ready sale. 

The more modern books, ** Piano Saving and How to Accom- 
plish It," by Edward Lyman Bill, and ** The Piano, or Tuner's 
Guide," by Spillane, also William B. White's books, '^ Theory and 
Practice of Pianoforte Building," '^ A Technical Treatise on Piano 
Player Mechanism," *' Regulation and Repair of Piano and 
Player Mechanism, Together with Tuning as Science and Art " 
and '' The Player Pianist," all published by Edward Lyman Bill, 
New York, have found wide circulation among practical piano 
makers because of their popular treatment of intricate subjects. 
All of these books are almost indispensable for a conscientious 
tuner and repairer. 

Among the strictly scientific works, John Tyndall's treatise on 
^' Sound " and Helmholtz' '' Sensation of Tone " offer much food 

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for thought to the student 
of acoustics, although Hehn- 
holtz's originally much- 
lauded '' Tone Wave The- 
orj%'* as well as his so- 
called discovery of the ** Ear 
Harp,*' have been vigorously 
attacked by Henry A. Mott 
in his book, *^ The Fallacy 
of the Present Theory of 
Sound " (New York, John 
Wiley & Sons), and by 
Siegfried Hansing in *^ Das 
Pianoforte in seinen akus- 
tischen Anlagen," New 
York, 1888, revised edition^ 
Schwerin i./M., 1909. 

Hansing 's work is be- 
yond question the most important, so far written, on the construc- 
tion of the pianoforte. His studies in the realm of acoustics 
disclose a most penetrating mind capable of exact logical rea- 
soning. He bases his conclusions on exhaustive studies, without 
regard to the accepted theories of earlier scientists. As a thor- 
oughly practical piano maker and master of his art, Hansing 
studied cause and effect in its application to the piano, and his 
book is a rich mine of information for the prospective piano 
designer and constructor. Free from any business affiliations, he 
treats his subject with an impartial and unbiased keenness of 
perception which is at once impressive and convincing. 

Dr. Walter Niemann's '' Das Klavierbuch,'* C. F. Kahnt 
Nachfolger, Leipsic, is an entertaining little book on the piano, its 

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music, composers and virtuosos, containing many illustrations of 
rare and valuable pictures of noted artists playing the piano. 

Henry Edward Krehbiel's more pretentious and serious work, 
** The Pianoforte and Its Music," Scribner, New York, 1911, is 
a valuable work of interest to the student of the piano, the musician 
and music lover. 

Of special interest to the studious piano maker are the cata- 
logues of old instruments collected by Morris Steinert of New 
Haven and Paul de Wit of Leipsic. *^ M. Steinert 's Collection of 
Keyed and Stringed Instruments " is the title of a book published 
by Charles F. Tretbar, Steinway Hall, New York. It contains ex- 
cellent illustrations of the clavichords, spinets, harpsichords and 
claviers which Steinert has discovered in his searches covering a 
period of 40 years. The illustrations are supplemented by a mi- 
nute description of each instrument, A concise history of the 
development of the piano and illustrations with explanatory text 
of Steinert 's collection of violins, etc., complete the volume. 

In '* Reminiscences of Morris Steinert, '* compiled by Jane 
Martin, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1900, Steinert gives in- 
teresting and amusing accounts of his experiences hunting old 
instnmients in America and foreign countries. Steinert, a gifted 
and many-sided musician by profession, became a dealer in musical 
instruments, especially pianos, and founded the great house of M. 
Steinert & Sons, with headquarters at Boston and branch stores 
in leading cities of New England. The firm also controls the 
Hume and the Jewett piano factories. 

The ** Katalog des Musikhistorischen Museums von Paul de 
Wit, Leipsic,'^ published by Paul de Wit, 1904, is the most com- 
plete compendium in existence, describing old instruments of all 
kinds, their origin and makers. Although this catalogue is profusely 
illustrated, De Wit published in addition a most artistic album, 
*' Perlen aus der Instrumenten Sammlung," von Paul de Wit, 

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Morris Steinert at the Clavichord 

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Leipsic, 1892. This album contain 16 illustrations printed in col- 
ors, each plate a master work of the color-printer's art. For the 
connoisseur, this album is a desirable and valuable addition to the 

Paul de Wit has devoted his life to advance the interests of the 
piano industry. A sketch of his career is, therefore, only an 
acknowledgment of his valuable services. Bom at Maastricht, 
Holland, on January 4, 1852, de Wit studied the cello under 
Massart at the conservatory of Luettich and showed decided 
talent. His parents objected to an artistic career and forced the 
young man to conduct a wholesale wine business at Aachen. Since 
the cello had a much more magnetic attraction for him than wine, 
he did not make a success of the wine business, and sold his inter- 
est in 1878. He went to Leipsic and became connected with the 
music publisher, C. F. Kahnt, where he made the acquaintance of 
Liszt, von Billow, Carl Riedel, etc., and also the versatile Oscar 
Laffert. In partnership with the latter, he started in 1880 '* Die 
Zeitschrift fiir Instrumentenbau," a dignified journal, devoted to 
the interests of the music trades of Germany. Laffert retired in 
1886, and de Wit became sole proprietor of the publication, which 
to-day ranks among the most influential of trade journals in Ger- 
many and circulates in all civilized countries. 

An artist, enthusiast and born collector, de Wit was not satis- 
fied with his success as an editor and publisher, but set to work 
collecting ancient instruments of all kinds. He started a work- 
shop with Hermann Seyffarth, the well-known repairer of violins 
and other musical instruments, in charge. Seyffarth rejuvenated 
the battered relics which de Wit had discovered during his travels, 
in storehouses, bams, garrets and cellars. De Wit virtually 
searched the Continent for old instruments, and many valuable 
discoveries stand to his credit. Whenever he heard that an old 
spinet, violin, bass drum or flute had been unearthed somewhere. 

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de Wit would take the next train, no matter how great the dis- 
tance or expense, to satisfy himself whether the relic was worthy 
of a place in his collection. As a result he assembled three col- 
lections, which are unrivaled. His first, containing 450 instru- 
ments, was bought in 1889 by the Government of Prussia for the 
Academy at Berlin. It was supplemented in 1891 by an addition 
of the grand piano used by Johann Sebastian Bach. His second 
collection of nearly 1,200 instruments was bought by Wilhelm 
Heyer of Cologne, who erected a special building to house his 

The industry owes to de Wit and Steinert a debt of gratitude 
for their unselfish labors in bringing to light the works of the 
old masters. Their efforts to again create a taste for the enchant- 
ing tone quality of the clavichord will bear fruit, by inducing the 
piano constructor of the future to search for a more pronounced 
combination of the liquid with the powerful tone than we find in 
the piano of the present. 

Notable collections of ancient instruments are also to be found 
at the South Kensington Museum at London, in the Germanische 
Museum at Nuremberg, and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, which latter has a genuine Christofori piano e forte. 
The most complete of all, however, is the unexcelled collection of 
Wilhelm Heyer at Cologne. 

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ORIGINATING in Italy during the inspiring period of the 
Renaissance as a strictly art product, a musical instru- 
ment whose outer form was designed by architects, deco- 
rated and embellished by painters and sculptors, the piano received 
its first development in strength and fullness of tone under the 
hands of the Teutonic master builders of Austria and Germany. 
The latter brought it to England, where the Anglo-Saxon imprint 
was impressed by the first efforts of manufacturing pianos, call- 
ing factory organization and machinery to its aid. This Angliciz- 
ing was furthermore marked by the invention of a more forceful 

After this the piano was taken in hand by Paris builders, who, 
in harmony with the French taste, took off the rough edges of the 
English construction and went back to the more dainty Italian 
design of case, and invented actions which permitted of a more 
delicate execution. However, the French builders did not quite 
follow the dynamical assault of the new school of music, which 
demanded more tone power to fill large concert halls, and America 
took the field with its full iron frame, enlarged scales and heavy 
hammers. Germany was first to adopt this innovation from Amer- 
ica and again took the lead in Europe. 


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These various schools can be traced most distinctly from their 
beginning to the time when they reached the point of highest de- 
velopment and were superseded by another school. Italy reached 
its height with Christofori in 1720, and has never since been a 
factor. Germany took hold of Italy's heritage, and the German 
school prospered from 1720 to about 1800, when England stepped 
in, wrested the laurels from Germany and developed its mammoth 
factories from 1800 to about 1860. France in the meantime (1803- 
1855) became the successful rival of England because of more 
artistic designs and refined tone qualities. After 1855, however, 
both England and France were out-classed by America, which has 
been able to maintain its supremacy ever since. Germany, hav- 
ing more or less rested uj)on its laurels up to 1855, took the cue 
from America and after 1860 out-rivaled England and France in 
the production of pianos. 

While no accurate statistics are obtainable, a reasonable esti- 
mate of the number of pianos produced in the various countries, 
based on careful computations made by manufacturers of piano 
supplies, indicates the following annual production at the present 

America 350,000 

Germany 170,000 

England 75,000 

France 25,000 

Austria and Switzerland 12,000 

Russia 10,000 

Netherlands and Scandinavia 4,000 

-Spain 2,500 

Italy 1,500 

Grand Total 650,000 

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The piano born in Italy required Teutonic force for develop- 
ment, French taste for refinement, English matter-of-fact indus- 
trialism and commercialism for better introduction and finally 
American enterprise and wealth for general adoption as an indis- 
pensable part of home furnishing. The history of the piano shows 
that in its present-day finality it represents the activity of many 
minds in the constructive, artistic, industrial and commercial 
fields. The industry has now reached a point where the genius 
of the born organizer on modern lines will be next heard from 
in any further progress. Combinations of large firms are in- 
evitable. Competition forces greater economies in production as 
well as distribution. America is leading in the new movement, 
and will adopt it more generally than any of the other nations, 
because nowhere is a general standardization so crying a necessity 
as in the United States. The product has to be standardized to 
bring the business of distribution out of its slough of disreputable 
tactics and practices. This standardization was the aim of the 
American trust movements of 1892-99. AVhile these attempts 
were premature, the correctness of the underlying philosophy has 
been proven by the subsequent successful amalgamation of large 
concerns into harmonious entities. 

When we search for the cause or reason why the piano industry 
has been so slow in developing along commercial and industrial 
lines, in comparison with other leading industries, we find it in 
the fact that nearly all the founders of successful firms were gradu- 
ates of the cabinetmaker's work-bench. They were primarily 
mechanics with a strong inclination to the artistic, both of which 
qualities are the antithesis of industrialism and commercialism. 
Their very occupation of designing pianos, inventing improve- 
ments, dreaming of tone quality, etc., totally unfitted them for the 
cold, exact calculation of the economic factory organizer and the 
liberal distributor of the finished product, not to mention the rea- 

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soning of the financier, who never has an eye for anything else but 
cold figures and algebraic reductions. 

We find, therefore, that England, where commercial tactics 
dominated when the piano appeared there, was the first of the 
nations to manufacture them in large numbers. The English 
knew how to sell and how to distribute them after they were made. 
The astonishing growth in America came when the kings of mer- 
chandising in the piano business became manufacturers and sup- 
plemented the factory methods, started in England, with the 
science of wholesale distribution. It must not be overlooked here 
that the piano industry in all countries, with exception of England, 
has always suffered as a whole from lack of sufficient working 
capital. In Germany, France and America capital was never 
attracted to the piano industry, simply because it lacked a solid 
foundation and apparently had no stability. In many instances a 
business of magnitude would die with the death of its founder, 
because its main asset was the name and the individuality of its 

When we analyze the characters of all the leaders in this in- 
dustry, from its beginning to the present day, — barring a few 
notable exceptions of latter days, — we find that all were excep- 
tionally strong men who had to fight their way from poverty and 
misery by sheer will-power, supported by decided talent or genius. 
Nearly all of them were without early education. They had to 
pick up whatever they acquired in knowledge in their spare hours, 
and we must admire these men for their great accomplishments, 
considering the conditions under which they worked. Even their 
petty jealousies must be pardoned. If we look back to the days 
in which they lived, we need not wonder that Pleyel and Broad- 
wood were intimate friends and made front against Erard, nor 
that Chickering opposed the overstrung system for years because 
Steinway advocated it. All of these men thought more of their 

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instruments, the children of their brain, than of making profits on 
broad lines of industrial and commercial development. 

Modern organization, to be successful in the piano industry, 
requires a division of labor and duties, which will enable the con- 
structor to follow his thoughts irrespective of factory, selling, or 
financial conditions and requirements. Indeed, the managers of 
each of these departments must be adepts and experts in their 
particular calling, and must be so situated that they can work out 
their plans on the basis which their coadjutors furnish from their 
respective departments. We have how establishments which turn 
out 30,000 instruments per year under one management. The time 
is not far off when we shall see organizations whose output will 
surpass 100,000 pianos per year, and those large organizations will 
set the pace, will create the standard, which every competitor must 

The piano factory of the future has not even been sketched out 
as yet, but it will come, just as the town of Gary has been built 
for the steel industry. The laws of evolution are at work in the 
piano industry as strongly as elsewhere, and the avoidable eco- 
nomic waste, the trifling away of fortunes in the present cumber- 
some, unscientific way of making pianos and much more so in the 
kindergarten methods of distributing the products, — methods 
which often make the cost of selling larger than the cost of pro- 
duction, — must come to an end for the good of everybody con- 
nected with the industry. Some of the money saved by such mod- 
em methods should be expended for the support of high-grade 
trade schools, where the art of piano making would be taught, and 
part of the increased profits coming from the economic savings 
should go to a labor pension fund, in order to attract to the indus- 
try the best class of wage-workers obtainable. 

Even when, by proper factory organization, the piano shall 
come to the level of an every-day commodity, it will, after all, 

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remain an art product; and, since we can form no conception as 
to its further development, talented young men must be brought 
into the field to continually inject that vigor and enterprise which 
is indispensable to progress. Adeijuate compensation and assur- 
ance of a competency for old age are tlie only means of attracting 
ability and energy. 

The piano industry should be as attractive as any to the young 
man of to-day. All we lack is proper training schools, which may 
easily be supplied by donations from the leading manufacturers 
of each nation. Germany is making an effort in that direction, 
and England, France and America ought not to delay the founda- 
tion of such schools. The day of the apprentice has passed for- 
ever. AVe know how to impart to a properly schooled young man 
more knowledge of a craft in one year than he could acquire, under 
the apprentice system, in five years. The university for the 
physician and lawyer, the college for the farmer, must be sup- 
plemented by the college for the craftsman, so that he may per- 
fect himself in his chosen profession after he leaves the manual 
training school. 

While for the past 100 years all the efforts of inventors and 
piano constructors had but one aim — to augment the tone of the 
piano — the labors of de Wit, Steinert and Dolmetsch in creating an 
interest in the clavichords, furthermore the tenacity of the Vienna 
and French schools in clinging to the more limpid though smaller 
tone, are arousing the interest of piano constructors to seek for 
more soulful, expressive tone quality, without, however, curtailing 
the carrying capacity — a problem, no doubt, very difficult to solve, 
but, therefore, so much more inviting to the thinking piano 

The factory manager, the sales manager and the financial di- 
rector will have problems continually looming up before them, to 

Digitized by 



solve which a clear understanding of the past history, the present 
conditions and the trend of events in the near future becomes im- 
perative. If this book shall serve as a guide and inspiration to the 
younger element in the various branches of our art and craft, it 
will have fulfilled its intended mission. 

Digitized by 

Google ^^^ 

Digitized by 



List of Firms Manufacturing Pianos and Supplies at the Present 


Digitized by 



Boga & Voigt Established 1905 Berlin 

BOnecke, Hermann " 1906 

Borkerthagen. M " 1892 " 

Brandes, Erich " " 

Compagnie Concordia " 1 869 " 

Dassel, Aug " 1859 *' 

Donadoni & Pohl " 1880 " 

Dreyer & Co., Max *' 1896 " 

Duysen, I. L '* I860 « 

Ecke, Carl \[ 1873 ;| 

Emmer, Wilhelm " 

Engelmann & Gilnthermann ** 1888 " 

Euphonic " 1906 " 

Excelsior Pianofabrik " " 

Fehn & Co., A •* 1903 " 

Felschow, A *' 1875 ** 

Frohlich & Kemmler " '* 

Gawenda, Franz " 1888 

Geil & Co., Friederieh " 1904 " 

Giese, Reiiieke & Co " 1888 

Gors & Kallmann " 1877 " 

Goetze & Co " 1866 « 

Grabau, M " 1880 - 

Grand Nachf., A '* 1869 " 

Gude, Moritz " 1886 " 

Gdiither, Otto ** " 

Gflnther, Robert " 1880 " 

Ilahmann, Gustav " 1884 " 

Haucke, Carl " 1890 " 

Hanne, Paul " 1861 " 

Hansen, H " 1871 " 

Harmonie " " 

Hartmann, W " 1839 " 

Hauschulz, Jul " " 

Heidrich, Hermann " 1881 " 

Heilbrunn Siihne, K ** 1875 " 

Heinke, Cnrl " " 

Hedke, Wilh " 1890 '* 

Heindorff, A " 1892 " 

Hepperle, Otto *' 1872 « 

Hevse. E. H " 1872 « 

Hiilg'lrtner, Heinrich " 1901 " 

Hilse, C " " 

Hilse Nachf., W " 1876 « 

Hinke, Alfred *' 1901 " 

Hintze, Carl H " " 

Hohne & Sell " 1885 '' 

HoflTmann Pianos ** '*' 

Hooff & Co " 1873 « 

Horn, Alfred " 1905 •' 

Janowskv, M " *' 

Jaseliinsicy, A " 1880 « 

Kewitsch, Johannes " 1878 ** 

Klimea, Schwitalla & Co " 1905 " 

Klingniann & Co., G " 1869 " 

Knochel, Ad " 1876 " 

Koch & Co., Ernst " 1896 " 

Krause, Conrad " 1868 " 

Krause, Hermann " 1860 " 

Krause & Dress " « 

Krengel & Co., H « 1906 " 

Digitized by 




Kriebel, H Established 

Kuhla, Fritz 

Kuhl & Klatt 

lilmnierhirt, Emil " 

Langf ritz, L " 

Lehmann & Co., Adolf *' 

Laurinat & Co " 

Lenz, A 

Liedcke, W " 

Linke, Godenschweger & Co " 

List, Ernst " 

Lubitz, H 

LUdecke, M 

Machalet, T 

Manthey, Ferd 

Marquardt & Co., Otto " 

Matz & Co., H 

Menzel, Wilhelm 

Mover, Richard " 

Mo'bes & Co 

M6rs & Co., L 

Miiller, Max 

Nesener & Segert " 

Neufeind, R " 

Neumeyer, Ernst " 

Neufeld, L 

Neugebauer Nachf ., C ** 

Neumeyer, Max " 

Neumeyer, Gebr '* 

Nieber & Co., A 

Noeske & Co " 

Oppermann, Albert " 

Otto, Carol 

Paul & Co., Ernst 

Paul & Co 

Pechmann & Co " 

Pfaffe, Julius " 

Pfeiffer, J 

Pianofabrik A. Lttddemann " 

Pianofortefabrik " Euterpe " 

Ottomar Fiedler.... 


W. Hoflfmann 

Plosch & Co " 

Poschel, A 

Quandt, C. J 

Roesener, F " 

Schiemann & Madsen " 

Schiller, J 

Schleip, Benedictus *' 

Schmeckel & Co. . . " 

Schmidt, L 

Schmidt, Rudolf 

Schmidt & John 

Schonlein, Ernst " 

Schotz & Co., Heinrich " 

Schtlbbe & Co " 

Schulz, W 

Schtltze, Heinrich " 

SchUtze & Schmidt " 

1863 Berlin 

1872 •* 

_____ *t 

1880 V.^.... ................ " 

1889 " 

1890 " 

1879 '• 

1870 " 

1872 " 

1890 " 

1888 " 

1875 " 

_____ <( 

1862 " 

1868 " 

1905 " 

1869 " 

1890 *' 

1881 " 

1869 " 

1869 " 

1905 " 

1903 " 

1888 " 

1905 " 

1872 " 

1878 " 

1906 " 

1905 " 

1885 " 

1888 " 

^__^ u 

1866 ........................ " 

1899 " 

^_^ (( 

^____ (t 

1860 ..............'......'.'... " 

1880 " 

______ (I 

1886 ...........'.'.'......'.'.'.'.'. " 


^__— ** 

1888 " 


— ^ " 

1854 " 

1839 *• 

1870 " 

1884 " 

1816 " 


1865 ........................ " 

1887 '• 


1895 ........................ *' 

1907 •* 

1894 " 

1862 « 

1877 " 

Digitized by 




Schweclitpn, G Kstablished 

Seidel Nachf., Rob 

Sievvert, C 

Skibbe, Max ** 

Sommer. Mathias " 

Steuer, Wilhelm " 

Steinberg & Co 

Stoessel. CJertler & Co 

Tempe, Reinhold ** 

Tietze, R 

I'lbrich, R 

Vierling, Rudolph ** 

Vieritz & Werner '* 

Wahren, Carl " 

Weber, F 

Werner, Ed *' 

Westerniayer, Ed ** 

Westphal, Rob<*rt " 

Wittenburg & Hermann " 

Wittig. Ernst 

Wr>liler Nachf., Adolf 

Zahn, F. H 

.Afann & Co., Th 

Grotrian, Steinweg Nachf '* 

Wechsung, O '* 

Zeitter & Winkelmann *' 

Palven, Jr., P 

Rerndt, Traugott. . . . .* " 

IliUtner, Alfred 

Welzel. P. F 

llauck, J. B 

Lipczinski, Max " 

Arnold, Karl '* 

Werner, F. W 

Bever-Rahnefeld, Otto 

Ceroid, F 

Goetze, Franz " 

Hagspiel & Comp ** 

Hoffmann & Kiihne " 

Kuhse, Johann " 

Kulb, Joft 

Mannsfeldt & Notni ** 

Mflller. Clemens H 

Ronisch, Carl " 

Ro'ienkranz, Ernst '* 

I llrich. H 

Urbas, Johann " 

l^rbas & Reisshaiier " 

Vogol, F. E 

Wolfframni, H 

Werner, Paul 

Zimraermann, Gebr 

Erbo, J 

Finger, Alb " 

Geyer Nachf., Adolph " 

Kliige & Trevdel 

Vogcl, Ro})ert 

Weber & Fuchs 

Weissbrod, R 

Winkelmann & Co " 

Tetsch & May 

1853 Berlin 

-_— ^ »« 

1905 .....V^.V....\......... " 

1894 ...../.....,.........[.. *' 

1908 " 

18H0 " 

1868 " 

1890 " 

1888 " 

1879 " 

_^___ « 

1902 " 

1860 " 

1881 ** 

1863 " 

1894 " 

1900 " 

1863 " 

1885 " 

1885 Bernburg 

1836 Bielefeld 

1835 Braunschweig 



1901 Bremen 

1837 Breslau 



1865 Bruchsal 

1890 Danzig 

1830 Darmstadt 

1845 Dobeln 

1852 Dresden 

1875 *' 

1874 " 

1851 " 

1899 " 


1873 " 

1867 « 

1877 « 

1845 " 

1797 " 

1876 « 

1894 « 

1894 *' 

1845 « 

1872 " 

1810 •' 

1904 Leipzig Miilkau 

1881 Eisenach 

1887 Eisenberg 


__^_ (( 

^__— *f 

1905 " 



1867 Emmerich a. Rhein 

Digitized by 




Hansen, Julius Established 

Philipp, G 

Andrfe, C. A 

Baldur Pianofortefabrik " 

Philipps & Sohne, J. D 

Welte & Sohne, M 

GlOck, Carl 

Spaethe, Wilh " 

!^laetzke, Eduard 

Steck Piano Co " 

RitmUller & Sohn, W 

Ritter, C. Rich 

Behnken. Gebr. X. & E. H 

Buschmann, Gustav Adolf " 

Kohl, H ;] 

Neumann, F. L 

Rachals & Co., M. F 

Schnell, H 

Steinwav & Sons " 

Stapel, G 

Gertz, Wilh 

Haake, Karl ** 

Ilelmholz, Fr 

Rissmann, C. C " 

Glass & Co., C. F 

Nagel, G. L " 

Uebel & Lcchleiter '* 

Sprunck, Fr 

Glaser, F 

Weidig, C 

Neuhaus Sohne, W ** 

Beckmann, W " 

Scheel, Carl 

GUnther & Sohne 

Kaim & Sohn ** 

Arnold, Ileinrich " 

Rowold & Sohne, Ernst " 

Aland, C 

Prein, Friedr 

Gebauhr, C. J 

Schusterius, C. A • " 

Stockfisch, H •. 

Adam, F 

Hain, Stephen " 

Bliithner, Julius 

Feurich, Julius " 

Fiedler, Gustav ** 

Forster & Co " 

Francke & Co., A. H 

Irmler, I. G 

Kreutzbach, Julius " 

Schimmel & Co., Wilh 

Schumann, Carl " 

Stiehel, F 

Zierold, Gustav " 

Froytag, Andreas " 

Geister & Schwabe " 

Gerstenl>ergpr, J " 

Liehr, Franz " 

Neumann, Carl ** 

Patzold, Gottl 

1838 Flensburg 

1872 Forst 

1828 Frankfurt a. M. 



1833 Freiburg i. Br. 

1843 Friedberg 

1859 Gera 

1862 Gorlitz 

1857 Gotha 

1795 Goettingen 

1828 Halle a. S. 

1873 Hamburg 








1873 Hanover 

1836 " 



1879 Heilbronn 



1839 Hettstedt 


1843 " 

1840 Kalkar 

1806 Kassel 

1846 " 

1819 Kirchheim, u. Teck 


1830 Klein-Umstadt 

1793 Kleve a. Rhein 

1832 Koblenz 

1857 Koln 

1834 Koenigsberg 

1869 ; 


1864 Krefeld 


1853 I^ipzig 


1871 *' 


1865 « 

1818 " 

1874 " 

1885 " 

1857 " 

1877 " 

1882 " 

1889 Liegnitz 

1871 •• 


1871 " 

1897 " 

Digitized by 




Schneider, Albin Established 

Schuppe & Neumann " 

Seller, Eduard " 

Sponnagel, Eduard " 

FOrster, August " 

Crasselt & Rahse 

Niendorf, (iebr " 

Pabst & Schneider " 

Scharf & Hauk 

ThUrmer, Ferd " 

Brinkmann, Emilie " 

Selle, Gebr 

Berdux, V 

Maver & Co., J 

Knake, Gebrtider 

Samson & Bennemann " 

Boekh, Hermann " 

Hegeler & Ehlers 

Rohlfing, Gebr 

Vogel & Sohn 

('ourtois, Hermann " 

Weidig, Georg " 

Bock & Hinrichsen " 

Deesz, Julius " 

Hermann, Alexander " 

Held, H 

Soph & Sohn, F 

Perzina, Gebr " 

Sauter, C 

Hoof. Ludwig 

Siegfcl, R 

Wolkenhauer, G 

Lindner Sohn, I. P 

Prestel, Anton " 

I..ochow & Zimmermann " 

Ackermann, F. J " 

Diirner & Sohn, F 

Elias, G 

Gschwind, I. G *' 

Hardt, Carl 

Krauss, E " 

Krunim, Jacob * 

Lipp & Sohn, Rich *' 

Mildler, G 

Matthaes, Theodor ** 

Oehler, C 

PfeifTer, Carl A 

Sauer & Sohn, I. P 

Schiedmayer Pianofabrik ** 

Schiedmaver & Soehne *'■ 

Schilling.* Fr 

Wagner, Herm *• 

Eigelbaum & Hoffmann ** 

Simon, L 

hnhof & Muckle 

Xetnath, Friedrich '* 

Romhildt Pianofortefabrik " 

Adam, Gerhard " 

Biehl. Joh. Heinr 

Milller-Schiedmaver, Erwin " 

Pfister, N ' 

1907 Liegnitz 

1897 '* 



1859 Lobau 

1881 •* 

1897 Luckenwalde 


1870 Mannheim 

1834 Meissen 

1879 Minden, Westfalen 

1828 Mahlhausen, Tharingen 

1871 Mtinehen 

1826 " 

1808 MUnster 

_____ tt 

1806 Xordlingen 

1895 Oldenburg 

1790 OsnabrUck 

1828 Plauen 


1890 Regensburg 

1869 Rendsburg 

1820 Saarbrttcken 

1835 Sangerhausen 

1867 Schleswig 

1902 Schmolln 

1871 Schwerin i. M. 

1846 Spaichingen 

1882 Sprottau 

1849 Stade 

1853 Stettin 

1825 Stralsund 

1820 Strassburg 

1900 Strausberg 

1882 Stuttgart 









1888 " 

1857 " 

1862 " 






1907 Torgau 

1880 Ulm 

1848 Vohrenbach, Baden 

1836 Weiden 

1845 Weimar 

1828 Wesel 

1868 Wittgendorf 

1874 Wttrzburg 

1800 " 

Digitized by 



Fahr, Albert Established 1887 Zeitz 

Geissler, F " 1878 " 

Gerbstadt, Oscar " 1888 " 

Hoelling & Spangenberg, C " " 

Hupfer & Co " 1874 " 

Krietzsch, Hermann " 1847 " 

Morenz, Bruno " 1891 " 

Schemelli & Co., R " 1900 *• 

Schmidt & Sohn Nachf., P " 1876 " 

Donath, Max " 1882 Zittau 


Btthl, W. G Keys 1894 Barmen 

Burk & Bastian " 1905 « 

Kluge, Hermann " 1876 " 

Aichele & Bachmann Iron Frames Berlin 

Allisath & Mttller Hammers " 

Bartsch, A " " 

Beetz, H Actions " 

Bellin, W Hammers 1890 " 

Bohn & Co., C Keys 1871 " 

Berliner Gussstahl Fabrik Iron Frames " 

Beyer, A Hammers ** 

Buchholtz, Heinrich Keys 1866 " 

Eggersdorfer Filz Fabrik Felts • " 

Wolff & Co., L Iron Frames ** 

Fulte, Georg Hammers " 

Gallowsky, H " 1863 " 

Jacob, Ernst Actions " 

Johst, W Hammers •' 

ICaselow, Hermann " 1900 " 

Klaviaturfabrik Union Keys " 

Kohler, Oscar Actions 1883 " 

Langer & Co " 1882 " 

Laurisch, Ferdinand Hammers " 

Leonhardt, M " 1896 « 

Leonhardt, Max Keys " 

Leonhardt, Richard Hammers " 

Leuschner, Carl " 1880 " 

Lexow, Ad Actions 1854 " 

Loepke, W Hammers " 

Walter, Adolf Keys " 

Wehrmeier, Franz Hammers 1876 " 

Weisner, Gustav Actions 1880 " 

Dittersdorfer Fils Fabrik Felts 1881 Dittersdorf 

Kutter, Alfred W Keys Dresden 

Kutter, E. G. Robert " " 

Patzak, Adalbert Hammers " 

Syhre, Edmund " 1879 «' 

Dornheim & Sohn, F. W Keys 1874 Eichfeldt 

Schlessiger, Herm Soundboards 1853 Gera 

Eicken & Co Wire Hagen 

Merckel, Wilh Hammers 1845 Hamburg 

Weidner, W Keys " 

Boecker, Heinr. Wilh Wire Hohenlimburg 

Bongardt & Co., Gebr " 1832 « 

Weber & Giese " •* 

Digitized by 



Kissing & Mollmann Soundboards Tscrlohn 

Ilysse & Co., Oscar Keys 1905 Langenberg b. Gera 

Beier, Adolf Hammers 1894 Leipzig 

Dethleffs & Co Keys 1874 " 

Driver & Toepfer Actions 1882 " 

Fleming, H. F " 1874 « 

Matkowitz, Carl Hammers 1906 

Morgenstern & Kotrade Actions 1846 ** 

Polenz & Lange Hammers 1899 " 

Thieme, Carl Soundboards 1843 " 

Triinkner, Hugo Keys 1843 

Weickert, I. D Felte 1847 « 

Gustav Meurer ** 1878 Liebenzell 

Jentzsch & Co Keys and Actions 1882 Liegnitz 

Stammitz, Hermann Kevs 1894 ** 

Thelocke & Kluge " 1859 

Scherdel, Siegmuad Wire 1889 Markt Redwitz 

Julius Klinke Pins i847 Xeuenrade 

SchUrmann & Hillecke ** 1879 

Beck, Georg Job Wire 1642 Xttmberg 

Fuchs, Job. Wolfg ** 1787 

Poehlmann, Moritz " 1850 

Martbaus, Ambronius Felts 1834 Oscbatz 

Kaiser, J Pins 1864 Plettenberg 

Scbulte, D. W " 1840 

Wagner, jun., W " 

Zimmermann, Paul Keys 1898 Radis 

Stabl & Drabtwirk Roeslau Wire 1832 Roeslau 

Senipert, Carl Keys Rudolstadt 

Boscb, Franz Hammers 1872 Stuttgart 

DUscbler, Friedericb " " 

Fritz & Mayer Actions. 1857 " 

Kanhiluser, G. & E Hammers 1844 

Keller & Co., J Actions 1857 

Koch & Co Kevs 1879 « 

Papc, Paul " 1877 

Renner, Louis Hammers and Actions . . 1882 " 

Sebauffele Wwe, Gg Keys 1846 

ScbHuffele, Wilhelm " 1882 

W5rner, G. F Hammers 1865 

Hunker, J. W Pins 1847 Werdobl 

Giese, I. H. Rud Wire 1883 Westig 

Gruncrt, Emil Keys Zeitz 

Kummer, Adolf Actions and Hammers . . 1890 " 

Tischendorf, Fratiz Keys 1888 " 

Tiscbendorf, Karl " " 

ZugehOr, Oscar Hammers " 



Ajello & Sons, G Established 1863 London 

Albion Pianoforte Co " 1871 " 

Allen & Caunter " 1894 

Allison & Co., Arthur " 1840 " 

Allison & Sons, Ralph " " 

Ambridge & Son, Henry ** 1890 " 

Arnall & Co., H. B " «' 

Digitized by 



Arnold & Co., J Established 1880 London 

Bansall & Sons '* 1883 " 

Barnett & Sons, Samuel " 1832 

Barber & Co '* 1892 

Barratt & Robinson ** 1877 

Beadle & Langbein " 

Beckhardt & Sons " 

Berry, Nathaniel " 1806 

Bishop & Co., Joseph " 1877 

Brasted, H. F. & R. A " 

Brinsmead & Sons, John " 1836 

Brinsmead, E. G. S ** 

British Piano Manufacturing Co " 

Broadwood & Son, John " 1723 

Brock, Bernard ** 1890 

Brock & Vincent " 1897 

BroNvne, Justin " 

Burling & Mansfield " 

Byers, Walter Charles " 1890 

Carleton Piano Works " 

Challen & Son " 1804 

Challenger & Co., George " 

Chappell & Co ** 1812 

Child, E " 

Cohen & Co., Philip ** 1893 

Collard & Collard " 1760 

Cons & Cons " 1884 

Cramer & Co., J. B " 1824 

Danemann & Co., W " 

Dodson, William " 1867 

Dunno, Ellis & Hill " 

Dunckley, William " 1865 

Eavestaff & Sons " 1823 

Edwards & Searle " 

Ellis, John " 1888 

Empire Piano Co " 1892 

Eungblut, C. & J ** 

Feord, Garrett " 

Fitzsimmons, Robert " 1879 

Fleming & Barker " 

Forrester, J " 

Fox, T. G " 

Gautier, Jules " 1866 

Gilbert, Thomas, John " 1880 

Grantone Piano Co " 

Green & Savage ** 1876 

Grover & Grover " 1830 

Grover & Deare 1879 

Hardeastle, J 

Harland, Alfred, Joseph " 1879 

Harold & Denson '* 1883 

Harper, Thomas W " 1880 

Harrison, Thomas ** 1890 

Harvey & Son, G " 

Hawkins, R " 

Healv & Richards " 1889 

Hickey & Co., T. J " 1901 

Hicks & Son, Henry " 1845 

Hillier Piano & Organ Co " 1855 

Hopkinson, J. & J " 1835 

Hulbert & Jones " 1883 

Digitized by 



HumphreyB, A. &, E Established 1883 London 

Imperial Organ & Piano Co ** 

James & Son, Henry '* 1878 

Jarrett & Goudge " 1871 

Jenn Bros " 1874 

Keith, Prowse & Co " 1802 

Kelly & Co " 1824 

King Bros ** 

Kuapton & Co " 1896 

Lambert, F. B " 1881 

Lawrence & Co " 

Little, Charles Edwin " 1878 

Livingstone & Cook ** 1897 

Lyon, Louis George " 1875 

McRill & Sons " 

McVay Piano Mfg. Co " 

Merrington Bros " 

Monington & Weston " 1858 

Moore & Moore *' 1837 

Munt Bros •* 1873 

Murdoch, John G " 1862 

Murray & Co " 

Payne,' T. & G " 1892 

Pinnell & Co., E. J " 

Pugh & Son, Joseph : ** 

Pull & Field " 

Pyrke, C. H •* 1895 

Rayner, S " 

Reed & Sons, J. W " 1868 

Reeve & Co., \V " 1881 

Regester & Sons " 

Rintoul & Sons, John " 1858 

Robertson & Co " 

Rogers & Sons " 1843 

Rudd & Co., A " 1837 

Russell & Co., (Jeo ** 1842 

Samson Piano Works " 

Sandon & Steedmann '* 

Seager Bros " 1897 

Shenstone & Son " 

Shipmann & Shipmann " 1877 

Smith, Andrew " 

Snell, Harry " 

Southam, Cooper " 

Spencer & Co., John '' 1883 

Spiller, Boult & Co " 

Squire, Jr„ William " 1881 

Squire & Son, B " 1829 

Strohmenger & Son, J " 1835 

Strong & Sons, John " 1851 

Tavlor & Co., A " 1890 

Taylor & Co., C. R " 

Tucker & Co " 

Wallis & Son, Joseph " 1848 

Watkins. T. & G " 

West Green Piano Works " 

W^hite. Broadwood & Co " 1879 

White, T " 1895 

Whitelev, William " 

W'illcocks & Co " 1906 

Witton, Witton & Co " 1838 

Digitized by 



Wonder Pianoforte Co Established London 

Woods & Co., R. J *' 

Wright, W. A " 1879 " 

Zender & Co " 

Pohlmann & Sons, F " 1832 Halifax 

Hartley & Sons, Stephen " 1857 " 

Shore, F " *' 


Webster & Horsfall Wire Birmingham 

Brooks, Limited Keys and Actions 1810 London 

Cassini, W. H Hammers 1878 " 

Clark, R. W Keys 1871 " 

Clark, John H., & Co Iron Frames 1734 

Deighton, A Keys 1881 " 

Finnimore Bros " 1880 *' 

Gibbs, B. A " 1895 " 

Goddard, J. & J Felts and Hardware 1842 *• 

Homan & Sons Strings 1853 " 

Kilvert, J. Smith Hammers 1860 " 

Marshall, William, & Son Materials 1841 

Nott & Co Actions 1862 " 

Paine & Sons, Thos Keys 1865 " 

Sebright, T " 1852 

Shenstone & Co " 1870 " 

Vestey, R. F., & Son " 1860 « 

W^allis & Son Materials 1848 

Whitehead, R. R., & Bros Felts 

Houghton, W. A Wire Warrington 

Naish Felts 1859 Wilton 



Aurand & Bohl Established 1830 Lvon 

Baruth, Francois Claude " " 

Boudon, B " « 

Manufacture Marseillaise de Pianos. " 1827 Marseilles 

Klein, Gaston ** Montreuil sous Bois 

Klein, Henri " 1879 

Manufacture des Pianos Grillot.... " ** " *' 

Staub, J " 1848 Nancy 

Vuillemin-Didion " 1846 Nantes 

Rodolphe Fils & Debain r^unies.... " Nogent sur Seine 

Benard, Champ & Cie " 1849 Paris 

Blondel, Alphonse " 1839 " 

Bord. A " 1840 " 

Bueher (Gauss Fr^res & Cie. Succrs.) " 1848 " 

Burgasser & Cie " 1846 " 

Carpentier. J " " 

Cocquet Fils, Leon " 1865 ** 

Erard (Blondel & Cie. Succrs.) " 1779 " 

Fock6 Frferes " 1860 " 

Digitized by 

Google ^^ 



Frantz, J. B. ( ^^f uasard & Cie. Succrs. ) Established 1852 Paris 

Oaveau, I. G " 1S47 

Gouttiere, Kd " 1840 

Guillot, A ' 

Herz, Henri 

Herz, Neveii & Cie 

Kriegelstein & Cie 

Leguerinais Frdres 

Leveque & Thersen 

Mufltel & Cie 

Oury, Alphonse 

Pleyel, Lyon & Cie 

Pruvost, Henri 

Pruvost Fils, E. Victor. 

Ruch, J 

Schmitt, Francois 

Schotte Fr^res 

Laplanche-Deforge, C. . . . 





1790 Reims 


Soci^t^ Anonyme Wire 

Gilbert Actions 

Sommer Felt 

Voos, J. J " 

Brees & Cie Actions 

Brou, Edouard Felt 

Delorme, F Keys 

Deloye, Maurice '* 1850 

l)e Rohden, C Actions 

Fortin, Eugene Felt 

Gehrling & Cie Actions 1842 

Grillet, P^re & Fils Keys 

Herrburger, J., Maison Schwander. . Actions and Keys 1844 

Kneip, l-KJuis Hammers 1850 

Jjingp, Julien Keys 

Levet, A Hammers 1869 

Martin, L Actions and Hammers. . 1895 

Muller, E Keys 1835 

Soci^t^ Anonyme de Feiitres francais. Felts 

Truchot Hammers 1848 

Union Actions and Keys 

Rolle, Neveu & Succrs., E Felts 


Montreuil sous Bois 








St. Denis 



Canto, J Established 

Charrier y Cia " 

Chassaigne Fr&rcs " 

Estela, Vinda de Pedro " 

Estela y Compa., B " 

Guarro Herraanos " 

Iz<aba], Louis " 

Izabal, Paul " 

Prin, Mallard y Cia " 

Digitized by 



Uibalta, Salvador Established Barcelona 

Sociedad Franco-Hispano-Americana . " 1898 " 

Vidal, J " 1870 

Montano, hijos de " 1838 Madrid 

Piazza, Mauricio " Sevilla 

Ten y Cia., Rodrigo " 1902 Valencia 

Raynard, L Actions and Keys 1897 Barcelona 



Fainau*^. Fr&res .^ Established 1840 Binche 

Berden & Cie., Frangois . . .' " 

Bernard & Cie., A 

CJflnther, J 

Hanlet, A 

Mahillon & Cie 

Oor, J 

Oor, Lucien " 

Pley «fe Dahout " 

Boone Fils " 

Gevaert, V 

Van Hyfte, B 

Van Hyfte Fr^res " 

Vits, Emile 

Renson Frferes " 

Derdeyn Fr^res " 































Allgiluer & Zoon, J. J Established 1830 Amsterdam 

Cuijpers, J. F *' 1832 Gravenhage 

Rijken & Co., Ch. F " 

Mes, Antoine A. A. Az " 1874 Middelburg 

Rijken & de Lange, Gebrs " 1852 Rotterdam 

Bocage, Ch " Schiedam 

Leijser & Zoon, N. S " 1854 Zutfen 



Schmidt, A Established 1830 

Burger & Jacobi 

Pianofabrik Symphonia " 

Bieger & Co., J 

Ganter & Sohn, J 

HUni & Co 

Rordorf & Co 

Suter, H " 















Digitized by 





Ehlert, J. H Established 1867 . . . 

Felumb, Emil. 

Geisler, A. H 

Ueidemann, H. P 

Hindsberg. H. T. P 

Hornung & Moller 

Jensen, Siiren 

Kofod & Co 

Landschultz, C 

Laraen & Son, J 

Lendorf , Oscar 

Mentzler, W 

Petersen k Son, Herm. N. 

Schon, T. C 

Wedell & Aberg, C 

A. G. Ralins Piano Fabrik. 

Pianofabriken Standard 

Ostlind & Almquist 

Billbergs Piano- Fabrik 

L<)fmark, J 

Malmsj(>, J. G 

Hagdahl, J 

Nystroms, J. P 

Hansson, D 

Ekstrom & Compis 

Lofmark & Hagland 

Gustafson & Ljunquist 

Bergquist & Nilsson 

Engstrom & Johanesson. . . . 

Franckel & Co., F 

Hoffmann, Aug 

L6f berg & Co 

Norbergs Pianofabrik 

Pettersson, John 

Rapp, E 

Svahnqiiist, jun., C 

Winkrantz, Fr 

Knudsen, Jacob. 
Hals, Brodrene . 






. Kopenhagen 

1885 Amal 

1904 Arvika 

1888 " 

1868 Goteborg 




1865 Karlstad 

1854 Lund 

1836 Malmo 

1899 " 




189G Bergen 

1847 Christiania 



Hellas, Osakeytio Established 1901 Helsingfors 

Apollo *' 1899 Kalisch 

Betting, Theodor " 1887 « 

Fibiger, Arnold " 1878 " 

Strobl, August " Kiew 

Digitized by 




Koretzky, F. J Established 1887 

Uslall & Co., A " 

Rausch, M " 

Sehoen, Ad " 

Johannsohn, Th " 

Tresselt, J 

Weinberg, J " 

Becker, J 

Diederichs, Gebr " 

Hergens & TcJnnoff " 

Leppenberg, G " 

Mayr, Hermann ** 

Muhlbach, F 


Rathke, R 

Reinhard, \V 

RiJnisch, Carl 

Schlesinger, S. L 

Schmidt, P 

Schroeder, C. M 

Smidt & Wegener " 

Stein, J. J 

Erikson, M " 

Kehrer, Hermann " 

Kopp, Anton " 

Angerhofer, F " 

Datz, Anton " 

Kerntopf & Sohn 

Malicki, Julian " 

Nowicki, F. J 


1878 - 



1843 " 


























Sara tow 


. . . .Tiflia 








PIANO :manufacturer 

Albert & Co., E. A Established 1868 

Rosier, G. 

Protze & Co., Josef . . . 

Petrof, Anton 

Warbinek, Rudolf A. . . 

Baroitius, Karl J 

Kopeckv & Co 


Schnabel, Ludwig 

Koch & Korselt 

Proksch, A 

Spira's Wwe., Carl... 

Bremitz, Enrico 

Magrini e Figlio, L... 

Audreys, Anton 

Baumann, Max 

Belehradek, Johann... 

Baumbacli, Josef 

Berger, Ignaz 

Bosendorfer. Ludwig. . 
Czapka's Sohn, Jacob. 

Dorr, Karl 

Dr)rsam, Wilhelm 

Ehrbar, Friedrich 

. Aussig 

1878 B. Uipa 

1905 Georgswalde 

1864 Koniggriltz 

1906 Laibach 

1898 Prag 


1891 Reichenberg 



1874 Triest 

1870 '' 





Digitized by 




Fritz. Sohn, J Established 

Fuehs, jun., Franz " 

<;ohh1, Josof & Adolf 

Habler. Job 

Hamburger, Carl " 

Heitzraaiin, Otto " 

Hnata y, Josef " 

llofbauer, Gustav " 

Ilofmann, Friedrich " 

Hofmann, Karl ** 

Holze & Heitzraann ** 

Horr, Moritz 

Jirasek, Ferdinand " 

Karbach, Friedrich " 

Klubal, Gottlieb 

Kraus, Adolf 

Kubik, Josef 

Umberger & Gloss " 

Littmann, Johann " 


Maliwanck, Heinrich 

Mayer, Eduard 

Mayer, Wilhelra 

Mayr, Franz " 

Nemetschke, Johann *' 

Neuburger, Adolf " 

Neuraayer, Carl " 

Oeser, Franz " 

Oeser & Sohn, Vincent " 

Pallik & Stiasny 

Parttart'^ Eidam, Alois " 

Pawleck, jun., Josef " 

Pokornv, A " 

Reinhoid, Robert F 

Richter, Franz 

Schaube, Wilh 

8chmid, Heinrich " 

Schmid & Kunz, F 

Schneider & Neffe, Josef 

Schweighofer's Sohne " 

Skop, Josef 

"Stary, Johann 

Stelzhammer, Anton 

Stenzel & Schlemmer " 

Stingl, Gebrilder 

Wasniczek, Ignaz " 

Windhofer Wwe. Rudolf 

Wirth, Franz 

Wolek, Franz " 

Zebrakowsky, Johann " 

Chmel & Son 

Dehmal, Kftroly 

Eder, Anton Julius " 

Havlicsek, Carl 

Heckenast, Gustav " 












































































, .Budapest 










Gaiser, Erail Hammers . 

Karl, Jos Keys 



Digitized by 




Kuda, Eberhard Hammers . 

Littmann, jun., Paul Keys 

Miller's Sohii, Martin Wire 

Mraz, Franz Keys 

Olbert, Franz 

Opletat, Alois 

Pichler, Johann 

Prohaska, Franz 

Schmidtmayr, Raymund 


. Wien 



Nippon Gakki Siezo Kabushiki Kwaisha Hammamatsu 

Nishikawa & Son Yokohama 




Pncific Piano Mfg. Co Established Pasadena 

Salyer-Baumeister Co '* 1907 l^s Angeles 

Behre, J., & Co ** San Francisco 

Deitemeier Piano Co " 1892 " « 

Fav, Robert " 1880 " « 

Homung, C. C " 1880 - 

Mauzy, Byron " 1884 " " 


Sterling Co., The Established 1866 Derby 

Huntington Piano Co " 1894 Shelton 

Wilcox & White Co., The " 1877 Meriden 

Mathushek Piano Co " 1866 Xew Haven 

Shoninger, B., Co " 1850 " « 


Johnson, Wm. A., Piano Co Established 1907 Champaiim 

-Q.,,,^* Tiii:,iQ Mr Hr. *i 1UK7 /^v. ® 

Bauer, Julius, & Co, 

Bent, Geo. P., & Co 

Bush & Gerts Piano Co. . . . 

Cable Co., The 

Cable-Nelson Piano Co 

Chickering Bros 

Clark, Melville, Piano Co... 

Conover Piano Co 

Concord Co., The 

l>cker Bros. Co 

Detmer, Henrv 

Foley & Williams Mfg. Co. 
Fuehr & Stemmer Piano Co, 

Kaiser. Adolph 

Kimball, W. W., Co 

1857 Chicago 






1900 " 





1870 " 

1903 « 


1854 " 

Digitized by 




King Piano Co EsUblished 1903 

Lyon & Healy " 

Marquette Piano Co " 

Maynard, R. K., Piano Co *' 

Meyer, Franz " 

Nelson, H. P., Co 

Newmann Bros. Co " 

Price & Teeple Piano Co 

Reed & Sons Piano Co 

Reichardt Piano Co " 

Rothschild & Co 

Schaaf, Adim 

Schaeffer Piano Co 

Scherpe, B., & Co *' 

Schuiz, M., Co 

Seeburg, J. P.. Piano Co " 

Singer Piano Co " 

Smith, Barnes & Strohber Piano Co. 

Starck, P. A.. Piano Co 

Steger & Sons Piano Mfg. Co " 

Story & Clark Piano Co " 

Straube Piano Co " 

Weber & Sons " 

Werner Piano Co " 

Hamilton Piano Co " 

Seybold Piano & Organ Co " 

Swan, S. N., Co " 

Pizarro Piano Co " 

Schiller Piano Co 

National Player Piano Co " 

Standard Piano Player Co " 

Johnson, E. P., Piano Co " 

Western Cottage Piano & Organ Co. " 

Haddorff Piano Co " 

Nysewander Piano Co *' 

Schumann Piano Co ** 










1889 Chicago Heights 


1907 Freeport 

1908 Joliet 

1893 Oregon 

1907 Ottawa 

1865 " 

1902 Rockford 

Knight-Brinkerhoff Piano Co Established 1907 Brazil 

Auto Grand Piano Co. 

Packard Co., The 

Schaff Bros. Piano Co 

Cable, Hobart M., Co 

Krell-French Piano Co 

Chute & Butler 

Starr Piano Co 

Tryber Piano Co 

1905 Connersville 

1871 Fort Wayne 

1866 Huntington 

1900 Laporte 

1898 New Castle 

1901 Peru 

1872 Richmond 

1881 South Bend 

Bellevue Piano Mfg. Co Established 1906 Bellevue 

Harvard Piano Co Established 1885 Dayton 

Hughes & Son Piano Mfg. Co.. 

.Established 1866 Foxcroft 


Wm. Knal>e & Co Established 1839 Baltimore 

Chas. M. Stieff " 1842 

Bourne,. Wm., &. Son. 
Chickering & Sons . . . . 

. Established 1846 Boston 

1823 " 

Digitized by 



Choralcelo Mfg. Co Established Boston 

Emerson Piano Co " 1849 " 

Everett Piano Co " 1883 " 

Hallet & Davis Piano Co " 1835 " 

Hume Piano Co " 1902 " 

Ivers & Pond Piano Co " 1880 " 

Jevvett Piano Co " 1899 " 

Kraft, Theo. J., & Co " 1903 " 

Mason & Hamlin Co « 1854 ** 

McPhail, A. M., Piano Co " 1837 " 

Miller, Henry F., & Sons Piano Co. . . " 1863 " 

National Piano Co " 1911 " 

Poole Piano Co " 1893 " 

Vose & Sons Piano Co " 1851 " 

Ackotist Player Piano Co " 1906 Fall River 

Cote Piano Mfg. Co '* 1890 " " 

Gilbert Piano Co " 1907 " " 

Morrisette, Honors, Co " " " 

Trowbridge Piano Co " 1888 Franklin 

Webster Piano Co " Leominster 


Crinnell Bros Established 1882 Detroit 

Farrand Co., The " 1884 " 

Brockmeier Piano Co " 1908 Grand Rapids 

Manville & Sons " " " 

Bush & Lane Piano Co " 1901 Holland 

■Chase- Hackley Piano Co 1863 Muskegon 

Oermain Piano Co *' 1895 Sasrinaw 

Melin-Winkle Co «' 1909 South Haven 


■Schimmel & Co Established 1892 Faribault 

Raudenbush, S. W., Co " 1883 St. Paul 

Segerstrom Piano Mfg. Co " 1900 Minneapolis 

Wick, P. S., Co " 1886 North St. Paul 

New Hampshire 
Prescott Piano Co Established 1869 Concord 

New Jersey 

Delabar, Edw Established Newark 

Lauter Co., The " 1862 " 

Winkler Piano Co " 1875 Trenton 

Alleger, H. W ** 1869 Washington 

Cornish Piano Co " 1876 

Florey Bros " 1909 

New York 

Boardman & Gray Established 1837 Albany 

Wegmann Piano Co " 1882 Auburn 

Brockport Piano Co " 1893 Brockport 

Smith, Freeborn G " 1848 Brooklyn 

Wissner, O " 1878 

Chase & Baker Co " 1900 Buffalo 

Kurtzmann, C, & Co " 1848 " 

Ahlstrom Piano Co " 1875 Jamestown 

Aeolian Co., The " 1887 New York 

Aeolian- Weber Piano & Pianola Co.. " 1903 " " 

American Piano Co " 1909 " 

Amphion Co " 1901 " 

Archer Piano Co " 1906 " " 

Autopiano Co., The " 1903 " 

Digitized by 



Bacon Piano Co Established 1789 New York 

Bailey Piano Mfg. Co " 1901 " 

Baumeister, H " 1894 ** 

Bayer Piano Co " 1906 ** 

Becker Bros " 1902 " 

Behning Piano Co " 1861 " 

Behr Bros. & Co " 1881 " 

Berry- VVood Piano Player Co ** *' 

Biddle Piano Co " 1861 " 

Bjur Bros ** 1887 " 

B(HHlicker's Son«, J. D " */ 

Bogart, Edwin B., & Co ** 1899 " 

Bogart, \V. F *» *■ 

Bollerman & Son « 1880 " 

Brambach, Carl, & Son " 1910 ** ** 

Brauniuller Piano Co " 1887 " *' 

Brunner & Co., C. A '* " " 

Byrne, C. E., Piano Co " 1862 " 

Cable & Sons " 1862 " 

Chilton Piano Co ** " " 

Christman Sons " '• 

Collins & Kindler « 1910 " " 

Connor, F " 1877 *' " 

Davenport & Treacy Piano Co " 1896 " " 

Decker & Sons " 1856 " " 

De Rivas & Harris *' 1905 " " 

Dobson, E. S., & Co " " " 

Doll, Jacob, & Sons " 1871 " " 

Dusiuberre & Co " 1884 " " 

Estey Piano Co " 1885 ** 

Fischer, J. & C " 1845 " " 

Frederick Piano Co " ♦* " 

Furlong, A. B., Piano Co " 1910 " " 

Gabl^, Ernest, & Bro '* 1854 " " 

Greve, G. B " 1896 " " 

Hardman, Peck & Co " 1842 " *• 

Haines, W. P., & Co *• 1898 " 

Harrington, E. G., & Co ** 1886 " « 

Hasbrouck Piano Co *' 1886 " « 

Hazelton Bros " 1840 " 

Homer Piano Co " 1907 " « 

Howard, R. S., Co " 1902 *' 

Jacob Bros " 1878 « " 

James & Holmstrom " 1874 « « 

Janssen, B. H ** 1901 " « 

Keller, Henry, & Sons " 1892 " « 

Kelso, S. R " " " 

Kelso & Co " 1891 " « 

Kindler & Collins " 1910 « 

Kirchhoff, Lawrence " 1901 ** 

Kohler & Campbell " 1894 " 

Krakauer Bros '* 1869 " « 

Kranich & Bach " 1864 « « 

Kroeger Piano Co " 1852 " " 

Laffargue Co., The " 1896 « « 

Lawson & Co " 1906 " " 

Leckerling Piano Co " 1886 « " 

Leins, E., Piano Co '* 1889 " 

Lindeman, Henrv & S. G " 1836 " « 

Lindeman & Sons Piano Co *' 1887 " « 

Lockhardt Piano Co " 1892 " " 

Digitized by 



Lockwood Piano Co Established New York 

Ludwig & Co 

Macfarlane, John " 

Mansfield Piano Co " 

Marshall & Wendell Piano Co " 

Mathushek & Son Piano Co " 

Mehlin, Paul G., & Sons 

Metzke, O., & Son 

Milton Piano Co " 

Needham Piano Co ** 

Xewby & Evans " 

Ouvrier Bros 

Palmer Piano Co " 

Pease Piano Co " 

Peerless Piano Player Co " 

Peters, W. F., Co 

Radle, F 

Regal Piano & Player Co 

Rehbein Bros 

Ricca & Son 

Rudolf Piano Co ** 

Schencke Piano Co 

Schleicher, Geo., & Sons ** 

Schubert Piano Co 

Sohiner & Co 

Solingen Piano Co 

Stadie & Son 

Steck, Geo., & Co " 

Steinway & Sons 

Strich & Zeidler " 

Stroud Piano Co " 

Stultz Bros '* 

Stultz & Bauer " 

Stultz & Co " 

Sturz Bros " 

Stuyvesant Piano Co 

Technola Piano Co 

Telelectric Piano Player Co ** 

Tonk, Wm., & Bro 

Universal Piano Co " 

Valois & Williams " 

Virgil Practice Clavier Co " 

Walters Piano Co " 

Warde Piano Co " 

Waters, Horace, & Co " 

Weber Piano Co |* 

Weser Bros 

Wheelock Piano Co " 

Wing & Son " 

Winter & Co " 

Wright Piano Co " 

Wissner, Otto " 

Wuertz, O. W " 

Wurlitzer Mfg. Co., Rudolph " 

Sporer, Carlson & Berry ** 

Armstrong Piano Co 

Brewster Piano Co " 

Cook Piano Co., J. B " 

Foster & Co " 

Gibbons & Stone " 1821 

Goetzmann & Co " 1905 






















































































































































North Tonawanda 




Digitized by 




Haines Bros Established Rochester 

Haine8 & Co " Milwaukee 

Marshall & Wendell Piano Ck) " « 

Ropelt & Sons Piano Co " 1901 

Engelhardt, F., & Sons " 1889 St. Johnsville 

Vough Piano Co " 1861 Waterloo 

Huebner Piano Co " Yonkers 


Baldwin, The, Co Established 1862 

Butler Bros. Piano Co " 

Church Co., The John 

Ebersole Piano Co " 

Ellington Piano Co " 

Harvard Piano Co ** 

Krell Piano Co., The 

Valley Gem Piano Co " 

Wurlitzer, Rudolph, Co., Tlie ** 

Raymond Piano Co " 

Columbus Piano Co " 

Chase, A. B., Co 

. Cincinnati 





1885 •* 



1856 « 

1856 Cleveland 

1904 Columbus 

1875 Xorwalk 

Lehr, H., & Co Established 1890 


Kellmer Piano Co. 

Colby Piano Co 

Blasius & Sons 

Cunningham Piano Co 

Lester Piano Co 

Oeser Co., Fred, The 

Painter & Ewing 

Schomacker Piano Co 

Bennett Piano Co., W. C. . , 

Kleber, H., & Bro 

Weaver Organ & Piano Co., 
Van Dyke Piano Mfg. Co. . . 
Keller, Dunham Piano Co.. 

1883 Hazleton 

1859 Erie 

1855 Philadelphia 



1893 " 


1900 Warren 

1841 Pittsburg 

1870 York 

1880 Scranton 



Conrad Piano Mfg. Co Established 1910 Milwaukee 

Gram Richtsteig Piano Co " 1908 

Kreiter Piano Co " " 

Waltham Piano Co " 1885 

Netzow, C. F.. Mfg. Co " 1885 

Wilson Piano Co " 1909 

Miller, S. W., Piano Co " 1896 Sheboygan 



Pratt, Read & Co Keys and Actions 1806 Deep River 

Comstock, Cheney & Co., The " " " Essex 

Universal Music Co Music Rolls 1904 Meriden 

Davenport, John, Co Iron Frames 1868 Stamford 

Blake & Johnson Hardware 1849 Waterbury 


Gulbransen-Dickinson Co Player Actions 1906 Chicago 

Piano & Organ Supply Co Actions and Keys 1871 " 

Schaff, John A Strings 1889 ** 

Oregon Foundry & Machine Co Iron Frames 1907 Oregon 

Kurtz Action Co Actions 1903 Rockford 

Digitized by 





Schwamb, Theo., Co Piano Cases 

American Felt Co Felts 1899 

Faxon, Geo. H., Co Hardware 1850 

Felters Co., llie Felte 1010 

Frazier, D-in E Hammers l.«60 

Seaverns Piano Action Co Actions 1851 

Standard Action Co " 1889 

Tower. Sylvester, Co Keys and Actions 1854 

Lockey, 1. H., Piano Case Co Cases 1«.50 

Richardson Piano Case Co * 1891 

Smith, F. G " 

Wellington Piano Case Co " 1895 

Tuner's Supply Co.. The Tools 1885 

Simplex Player Action Co Player Actions 1883 

New Hampshire 
Parker & Young Co. 

. Soundboards 1857 

New Jersey 

Abbott Piano Action Co Actions . . 

American Musical Supply Co Supplies. 

National Music String Co Strings. . 

Celluloid Piano Key Co Keys 

Looschen Piano Case Co Cases. . . . 




New York 

Phelps, M. S., Mfg. Co " .;i.891 

Brown & Patterson Iron Frames 'l8()l 

Young. F. W. & Co Actions 1808 

Wood & Brooks Co Actions and Keys 1901 

Cheney, A. C, Piano Action Co Actions 1892 

Davis,'' I. E., Mfg. Co Cases 1903 

Breckwoldt, Julius, & Co Soundboards 1806 

Ramsey, Chas., Co Hardware 1897 

New York Pianoforte Key Co Keys 1890 

Grubb & Kosegarten Bros Actions 1837 

American Union String Co Strings 

Auto- Pneumatic Action Co Player Actions 

Connorized Music Co Music Rolls 

Courtule, Jos. X Cases 1872 

Erlandsen, J Tools ISOl 

Gocpel, C. F., & Co Hardware 1892 

Haas, Henry, & Son " 1800 

House. C. W.. & Sons Felts 1902 

Kapp, Rnbt. L., Co Hammers 1910 

Koch, Rud. C Strings 1858 

Mapes. Stephen S " ;; 

N. Y. Co-operitive Piano String Co.. " ^^^'^ 

Xpw York Piano Hardware Co Hardware 1907 

Pfriemer, Charles Hanmiers 1870 

Tingue, Brown & Co Felts 1901 

Ramacciotti. F Strings 1807 

Schirmer, Charles Hardware 1806 

Schmidt, David H., & Co JIammers 1856 

Schwander Action Co Actions 1845 

Staib-Al)endschein Co " 1890 

Standard Pneumatic Action Co Player Actions 

Strauch Bros Actions 1807 

Wasle & Co " 1876. 

Wessell, Nickel & Gross " 1875 












Fort Lee 

. . . .Jersey City 
New Brunswick 

New York 


....... Brockport 








. . . .Middle town 


New York 

Digitized by 




Engelhardt, F., & Sons Actions 1889 St. Johnsville 


Fairbanks Co., The Iron Frames 18»0 Springfield 

Kellev, O. S., Co *' " 1890 

Wickham Piano Plate Co *' " 1890 

Billings Spring Brass Ftange Co llardware Milwaukee 


Nova Scotia 
Willifi Piano & Organ Co lj:»tablii»lied 

Snyder & Co., Wra Eatablislied - 



Dominion Piano & Organ Co. 

Dolierty & Co., W 

Barclay, Glass & Co 

Bell Piano & Organ Co 

Morris Piano Co 

Wormwith & Co 

William Sons, R. S 

Williams Piano Co 

Martin Orme Piano Co 

Bliindftll Piano Co 

Consolidated Crossin Piano Co. . . 

Gourlay, Winter & Leeming 

Heintzmann & Co 

Heintzmann Co., Gerhard 

Mason & Risoh Piano Co 

Mendelssohn Piano Co 

Kcwcombe Piano (^o 

Nordheimer Piano & Music Co. . . 

Owen & Son, R. S 

Stanley, Frank 

Palmer Piano Co 

XTxbridge Piano & Organ Co 

Kam Co., D-. W 

Thomas Organ & Piano Co., Tlie. 


Craig Piano Co Established - 

Laffargue Piano Co., The " 

Pratte, A 

Shaw & Co., J. W 

Willis & Co 

Lesage & Fils " 

Senecal & Quidoz " 

1870 Bowmanville 

1875 Clinton 

— ' — Dundas 

18tH Giielph 

1892 Listowel 


1849 I^ndon 









. . Uxbridge 

. Mbntreal 

.St. Therese de Blainsville 

PIANO SUPPLY mani:factcrers 


Barthelmes & Co., A. A Actions — 

Best & Co., D. M Hammers — 

Bohne & Co " — 

Canada Piano Action & Key Co Actions and Keys — 

Coates, A. E Strings " — 

Higel Co., Otto Actions and Keys — 

Kerr, A Actions — 

Loose, Jos. M Keys — 

Toronto Piano String Htg. Co Strings — 


Digitized by 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Action, Practice, Clavier, 82, 83 
Actions, Grand, 58, 59, 60, 61, 84, 85, 88, 

89, 90, 91, 258 
Actions, Hammer, 31, 41, 42, 43, 44. 45, 

46, 47, 48, 83. 84-96, 126-128, 261, 262 
Action, "Hopper," 218 
Actions, Player-Piano, 162 
Action, Repetition, 247 
Actions, Upright, 53, 54, 91-96 
Agraffe, 61 

Bridge, Roundbonrd, 52, 109 

Bridge, Linear. 323 

Bush Temple of Music, Chicago, 356 

Capo Tasto, 61 

Cases, Grand, 38. 57, 58, 63, 64 

Cases, Piano. 116-117, 119, 120 

Clavichord. 29, 30, 31 

Clavicvtheriura, 29 

Clavier, 82, 83 

Collections of Musical Instruments, 429 

Collections of Old Instruments, 188, 428, 

Conclusions, 433-439 

Conservatory of Music, Bush Temple, Chi- 
cago, 356 

Consolidation of Large Firms in Piano 
Trade, 182 

Damper, 31, 47, 54 

Department Stores, a Factor in the Piano 

Industry, 182 
Dulcimer, 4*1, 42, 43 

Export, 199, 200 

Felt, Piano, 120-123, 240, 241, 259 
FUlgel, 57-65 

Frames, Iron, Grand, 59, 61-63, 69-76 
Frames, Iron, Piano, 128 
Frames, Iron, Square, 50-52, 69, 302 
Frames, Iron, Upright, 53, 55, 56, 69-71, 
74, 75 

Hackbrett, 41, 42, 43 


Aeolian, 331 
BlUthner, 393, 400 
Bosendorfer, 220, .393, 401 
Chickering, 175, 274, 391, 393 
Ehrbar, 222, 393 

II Aiii^s Con (in tied 

Erard, 253, 393, 398 
Gewandhaus (New), Leipsic, 388 
Gewandhaus (Old), Leipsic, 386 
Herz, 258, 393 
Pleyel, 257, 393, 399 
Steck, 318, 393 
Steinway, London, 309 
Steinway, New York, 175, 302, 309, 390. 

Hammers, Piano, 97-106, 123 
Handel and Haydn Society, 276 
Harp, Erard, 352, 353 
Harpsichord, 34-38, 188, 189 

Alessandro Trasunti's Art (Insert 191) 

Janko Keyboard, 78-83 

Ke, Chinese, 28 
Keyboard, 37, 38, 77-83 

Literature on the Pianoforte, 423-429 

Marketing of Pianos, 200, 201 
Monochord, 27 

Name, Value of, in the Piano Industry, 
213, 214 

Organ, 77 

Organ, American Cabinet, 316 

Pedal, 38 

Piano, The Art, 187-191 

Pianos, Art Grand 

Baldwin Company (Insert p. 190) 

Chickering & Sons " " 

Erard " " 

Everett Piano Company " " 

John Broadwood & Sons " " 

Julius BKlthner " « 

Ludwig Bosendorfer " ** 

Pleyel, Lyon & Co. " « 

Rudolf Ibach Sohn " " 

Steinway & Sons " « 

Weber Piano Company *' ** 

William Knabe & Company " " 

Piano, The Commercial, 165) 175, 179-181, 

Pianoforte, 41-48 

Piano. Grand, 57-65, 69, 70-71, 77, 304 

Pianos, in Department Stores, 182 


Digitized by 




Piano Industry. leading Firms in, 213 
Piano Manufacturers. Consolidation of, 

182, 18;i 

Number produced per year, 175, 206, 434 
Value of vearlv output, 175 
Pianos, Pedal, 191-194 
Pianos, Square, 47, 52, 57. 280, 302 
Pianos, Stenciling. 1S2 
Piano, Upright, 53-57, 65, 70, 71. Insert 

190, 2(>0 
Pianos. Value of Name on, in the Piano 

Indofltry, 213>21.) 
Piano, Wrtical Grand, 48 
Pins, Hitch and Tuning, 128 

Piano Players and Pl\tcr Pianos: 
" Aeolian " (>rgan, 327 
"Aeriol'' Pianos, 147, 150, .32S 
" Angelus " Piano Player, 138 
"Apollo" Piano Plnyer, IM 
" Aristano " (iirand Plaver Piano. 375 
*' Artistyle.^ 158 
*' Ariston " Piano Pbyer. 1.55 
Bishou & Downe's Ke\i)oard Attach- 
ment, 18S3, 13r). 139 * 
Brown's Interior Player, 1*''97, 150 
Bain's Automatic Piano. 133 
Cecil ian PI aver Piano, 372 
** Ceh>stina "* Orguinette. 327 
Clark's Stroke Button, 1905, 155, 156 
Clark's Stroke Button, 1907, 155. 156 
Clark's Transposing D<»vice, 1899, 151, 

Clark's Transposing Device, 1902, 152 
Crook's "Themodist," 1900, 158, 101 
Daaquard's Flexible Finger Mechanism, 

1904, 154, 155 
"Dea*' Piano Player, 157 
Fourneaux's " Pianistii," 133, 134, 135 
Gallv's Plaver Mechanism, 1881, 130, 

Goolman's "Harmonist" Player, 1898, 

152, 15.3, 379 
Hobart's Endless Tune Sheet, 1908, 154 
Hupfeld's " Phonola " Player, 1902, 155, 

157, 158, 159 
Jacquard's Perforated Endless Card- 

i>oard, 133 
Keilv's Wind Motor with Slide Valves, 

1886, 136, 139 
Keelev-I>anquard " Temponome," 1911, 

158' 162 
Klugh's Auxiliary Key, 1906, 153, 165 
Kuster's Mechanical Instrument, 1886, 

136, 140 

McTammanv*8 Automatic Plaving Or- 
gan. 1868, 1>34. 135, 1.36. 137 
" Metrostyle *' Player Piano, 158, 161 
Morse's Automatic Organ, 1,32 
Pain and Kuster's Self-playing Piano, 

1,36, 137 
Pape'n Automatic Piano, 133 
Parker's Automatic Piano, 1892, 137, 

141, 142 
" Pwrlws " Piano Plaver, 152. 379 
" ITionola " Piano Plaver, 155, 157, 158, 

"Phrasing I^ver." VyS 
*'Piani«ta*' Piano Player, 1,33, 1.34, 135 
** Pianola " Piano Plaver, 150. 372 
Player Piamw, 131-1 62\ 194, 195 
Seytre's Automatic Piano, 133 
*' Simples ' Piano Hawre, 150 
" Tem])onome," 1 58. 1 «2 
"Themodist" Player Piano, 158. 161 
Vaucanson's Pierced (Vlinder for Auto- 

m.itic Musical Instruments, 133 
Voter's Cabinet Player. 149, 150 
Welin's Individual Valve System, 1902, 

155. 157 
"WelU» Mignon" Piano Player. 157 
White and Parker's Combination Cp- 
right Piano and. Reed Organ, 1895, 
143, 144 
White and Parker's Automatic Piano 

Plaver, 1897, 145-148 
Young's " MetroBtyie," 1901, 158, 161 

Resonator, 110, 111 

Scale, Diatonic and Chromatic, 77 

Scale, Eqmilizing. 323 

Scale, Flat, 49, 62, 70 

Scale, Overstrung, 51, 52, 54, 50, 62, 63, 

64, 71, 302 
Soundboard. 31, 106-111, 117-119 
Spinet, 32, 33 

Hans Ruekers Double (Insert p. 191) 
Stencil, legitimate Use of, 182 
Strings, 31, 38, 53, 54, 55, 69 

Trade Associations Among Manufacturers 

and Dealers, 405-411 
Trade Press, The, 416-420 
Trust Movement of 1892, 1897, and 1899, 


Virginal, 33, 34 

Wire, Piano, 123-120, 242 
Wrest Plank, 49 

Digitized by 



Abbott, Frank A., 417, 418 

Abbott Piano Action Co., »21 

Adatn. Gerhard, 231 

Aeolinn Company, 147, 150, 152, 182, 199, 

299, 319, S26, 329, 3^, 382, ^3«4, 372 
Aeolian Company, Ltd., 332 
Aeolian Organ k ^liieie Company, 327 
Aeolian, Weber Piano & Fiex\ei». Cempany, 

Albrecht, Charles, 50 
Allen and Thorn, S.', 69, 70 
Allgailer & Zoon, 263 
Allison, Arthur & Co., 248 
American Piano Company, 183, 276, 28^, 

296, .335 
Anmon. John, 104, 105 
Amphion Company, 334 
Andr^ Carl, 408* 
Angelo, ^lichael, 106 
Arion Piano Co., 366 
Ariston Company, 334 
ArraBtron^, George B., 418 
Armstrong. George W., Jr., 340, 347 
Armstrong Piano Co., 336 
Arnold, Richard. 274 
Auto Grand Piano Co., 155, 358 
Automatic Music Paper Company, 327 
Autopiano Company, 333 
Auto-Pneumatic Action Co., 334 

Babcock, Alpheu«, 50, 60, 97, 270 

Babcock, Lewis, 270 

Bach, Emanuel, 31 

Bach, Johann Christian, 387 

Bach, Johann Sebastian, 31, 32, 45, 86, 
167, 194, 276, 385, 386 

Backers (Becker), Americus, 46, 47, 58, 
87, 88, 168 

Bacon, Francis, 277 

Bacon, George, 277 

Bacon Piano Co., 277 

Bacon, W. H. P., 277 

Bailey, P. J., 147 

Bain, 133 

Baldwin Company, The, 64, 74, 181, In- 
sert 191, 346-S48 

Baldwin Piano Co.. 346 

Baldwin & Co., D. H., 346 

Barnett & Son, Samuel, 248 

Barnhorn, C. T., 100 

Bauer, Julius, 362 

Bauer & Co., Julius, 362 

Bechstein, Carl, 235, 236 

Becker, Js<?ob, 264, 285 

Beethoven, Ladwig von, 37, 5d, 67, 218, 

219, 3^7, 388, 400 
Behning. Gu^^tav, .320 
Behning, H<?nry, 31S. 320 
Bohiiing, .Tr., Henry, 320 
Behning Piano CVmipntiv, 320 
Behiiinir^' Sen, Henrj','310, 326 
Behr Brothers, 336 
Behrend, Johann, 48 
Benedict, Sir Julius, 318 
Bent, George P., 362, Insert 410 
Berden & Co., Francois, 263 
Bergner, F., 274 
Berndt, Traugott, 232 
Biotepigp, Mich«el A.. 265 
Bill, Edward Lvmm, 417, 425 
BillinglinrKt, IL F., 248 
Billon, 121 

Birmingham OrgHi C-o., 870 
Bishop & Downe, 136, 130 
Blackmore, D. J., Insert 410 
Blasius Piano Co., 336 
Blondel, Alphonse, 254 
Bloomfield-Zeisler, Fannie, 356 
Blunienberg, ^larc A., 417 
Bliithner, Julius, 169, 190, Insert 191, 

233-235, 424 
Bliithner, Max, 409 
Boardman, WiMiam, 277, 278 
Boardman & Gray, 277, 286 
Bond, Albert S., 373, 374 
Bond, S. B., 372, 373 
Boone Fils, 263 

Bord, Jean Denis Antoine, 171, 261 
Bosendorfer, Ludwig, 64, 88, 189, Insert 

191, 219, 220, 397, 407 
Bossert, William, 278, 279 
Bourne, Charles H., 279 
Bourne, William, 278, 279 
Bourne & Company, William, 278 
Bradbury, William* B., 314 
Bradley, Kenneth M., 356 
Breitkopf & Hjlrtel, 169 
Brewster Piano Company, 336 
Briggs, C. C, 293 
Briggs Piftno Co., 038 
Brinsmead, Edgar, 173, 247, 425 
Brinsmead, John, 94, 173, 247, 248 
Brinsmead, Thomas James, 247, 248 
BfoadmTxxl, Henry Fowler, 245 
Broad wood, James Henry Shudi, 245, 246 
Broadwood, Sames S., 59, 245 


Digitized by 




Broadwood. John, 48, 59, 62, 243, 244, 

Broadwood, Tliomas, 245 
Broa4i\v(M)d, \Valt4»r Stewart, 245 
Broadwotxl & Sons, 70, 75, SS, 94, 157, 172, 

173, 1H9, Ins4»rt 190, 242, 245 
Brooks, LUl., 120 
Brown & Hallet, 280 
Billow. Hans von. 228, 274. 390. 391 
Buschmann. (iiistav Adolph, 232 
Biwh, William L., 355. 350, 357 
Bush. William H.. 355, 350 
Bush & Co., William H.. 355 
Bush & 0€»rts Piano Co., 357 
Bush & Lane. 302 
Bums. Edward M.. 2S7, 288 
Burns, Francis Putnam, 280, 287 
Busoni, 158. 392 
Butcher, Tliom:is. 247 
Byrne, J. P., Insert 410 

Cahle, Favette S., 344, 345 

(^able. If/ I)., 343, .344, 345 

Cable, Hobart M., 344 

Cable Company, 155, 345 

Cable Company, Hobart ^I., 302 

Campbell. John Calvin, 334, 335 

(^amp, Isaac N., 370 

Carreno, Teresa, 309, 338, 392, 398 

Challen, C., 247 

(^hallen, William, 247 

Challen & Son, 247 

Chambers, 277 

Chaminade, 338 

Chappell & Co., 248 

Chase, A. B.. 374 

Chase, Bra ton S., 358 

Chase Bros. Piano Co., .358 

Chase Co., A. B., 374, 375 

Chase-Hacklev Piano Co., 358 

Chase, Milo J., 349 

Chase Piano Co., 349. 358 

Cliase & Baker Com piny, 334 

Chassaign Fr^rw, 203 

Chicago Cottage Org in Co., 343 

Chickering Brothers, 302 

Chickering, C. Frank. 273-270 

Chickering, George H., 275. 270 

Chickering, Jonas. 51, 52, 70, 174, 270-272 

Chickering, Thomas E.. 273 

Chickering & Sons, 18,3, 190, Insert 190, 

273, 274. 270, 335 
Chilton Piano Company, 332 
(^lopin, Frederic, 79, 1*71, 253, 250, 388 
Choralion Co., 332 
Christofori, Bartolomo, 42, 44-47, 58, 80- 

88, 97, 100, 210 
Church Company, John, 337, 338 
Clark, Melville, *151, 152, 154-150, 370-378 
Clark Piano Co., Melville, 302, 377, 378 
Clark & Rich, 377 
Cleland, Jonas M., Insert 410 

Clement, Tx)ui8 H., Insert 410 

element!, Muzio, 245, 246, 392 

Cludsam, 78 

C<dlard, Charles Lukev, 240 

Collard, F. W., 240 " 

Coilard, W. P., 246 

Collard & CoUard, 246 

Collins, Benjamin, 100, 104 

Conover, J. Frank, 344 

Conway, C. C., 280 

Conway, E. E.. 280 

Conway, Edwin Stapleton. 340-343, Insert 

Cook Piano Co., J. B., 330 
Cramer, 392 

Crehore, Benjamin, 50. 270 
Crew, B. B., Insert 410 
CrtKiks, J. W.. 158. 101 
Cuijpers, J. F.. 203 
Cunningham Piano Co., 330 

D'Albert, Eugene, 2S5, 309 

Damrosch, I^opold, 309 

Daniell, C. A., 418 

Danquard, Thomas, 154, 155, 158, 102, 

333, 334 
DaVinci, 100 
Davis, (Jeorge II., 280 
Docker, Frank C, 317. Insert 410 
Decker. Mvron A.. 2S7. 317 
De Pnclmiann, 158, 274. 848, 392, 397, 398 
IVtroit Organ Co.. 371 
De Wit. 188, 418, 427, 428, Insert 428, 429, 

Dickinson, 100 
Diederichs, Oebr., 204 
Ditson & Co., Oliver, 350, 351 
Doane, Wing & Cushing, 330 
Dobbs. W. (\, 240 
Dolge, Alfred, 99, 100, 117 
Dolmetsch, 438 
Domer & Son, F., 231 
Dorr, Karl, 222 
Doud, L. L., 375 
Dreher, Henry, Insert 410 
Droop, E. H., Insert 410 
Dulx)is. 277 
Dubois & Stodart, 288 
Dunham, John B., 322 
Durkee, George B., 352 
Dutton, William Dalliba, Insert 410 

Eaton, George L., 330 
Eavestair & Son, 248 
Eddy, (^harles H., 330 
Eddy, Clarence, 372 
Ehrbar, Friedrich. 220. 221, 407 
Ehrlich, Paul, 155, 157 
Ekstrem & Co., G., 203 
Emerson Piano Co., 293 
Emerson, William P., 292. 293 
Engelhardt, Alfred D., 379 . 

Digitized by 




Engelhardt, Frederick, 378, 379 

Engelhardt, Walter L., 379 

Engelhardt & Sons, F., 152, 154 

Erard, Jean Baptiste, 252, 254 

Erard, Pierre. 58, 01, 199, 254 

Erard, Sebastian, 48, 58-61, 70, 79, 88, 92, 

171, 189. Insert 190, 191, 199, 214, 

233, 251-254 
Essipoff, Annette, 309, 318 
Estela, Pindo de Pedro, 262 
Estey, Jacob, 363-305 
Estey, Jacob Gray, 366 
Estey, J. Harry, 366 
EsteV, Julius, 364-366 
Estey Organ Co., 304 
Estey Piano Co., 364 
Everett Piano Co., 181, 190, Insert 190, 


Faber, Daniel, 30 
Farrand Co., The, 362, 372 
Farrand, W. R., 371 
Farrand & Votev Co., 371, 372 
Fetis, M., 29, 423 
Feurich, Hermann, 409 
Feurich, Julius, 236 
Fischer, A. H.. Insert 410 
Fischer, Carl, 167, 216, 289 
Fischer, Charles S., 2S9. 290 
Fischer, John U., 289, 290 
Fischer, J. &. C, 216, 200 
Fischer, P. F., 98, 121 
Fortin, 121 

Foster, Armstrong & Co., 183 
Foster, C. H. W., 336 
Foster & Company, 335 
Fourneaux, 133-135 
Fox, Orrin L., 417 
Freund, Harry E., 417 
Freund, JohnV., 416, 417 
Frickinger, F. W., 127, 287 
Friederici, C. E., 48, 49, 91. 92 
Fritz & Meyer, 127 
Fritz & Sohn, J., 222 
Fuchs, 123 
Fuller, Levi K., 364, 365 

Gabler, Ernest, 314 
Gabrilowitsch, Ossip, 398 
Gaehle, Henry, 283 
Gaily, Merritt, 136, 138 
Gaveau, J. G.. 171, 261 
Gebauhr, C. J., 231 
Gehrling, Charles, 127 
Geib, 168 

Gennett, Harry, 349 
Gen net t, Henry, 349 
Geronimo, 57, *188, 216 
Gerts, John, 355, 356 
Gertz, Richard W., 110, 111 
Gevaert, V., 263 
Gibson, J. H., 337 

Gilbert & Co., 174 
Goll, Jacob, 108 
Goraph, George, 287 
Goolman, F. R., 152, 153 
Gottschalk, 194 
Gramer, J., 293 
Gram-Richtsteig Piano Co., 362 
Gray, James A., 277, 278 
Gray, James Stuart, 278 
Gray, William James, 278 
Gregory, Robert B., 353 
Gretsohel, Heinrich, 424 
Grinnell Brothers, 362 
Grinnell, C. A., Insert 410 
Gross, Charles J., 292 
Gross, Jacob, 291, 292 
Grotrian, Wilhehn, 74, 232 
Grover & Grover, 248 
Grovesteen, Fuller & Co., 286 
Grovesteen, James H., 286 
Grubb & Kosegirten Brothers, 127 
Grunewald & Vo., L., 378 
Guarra, Hermanos, 262 
Guido, 28, 77, 215, 216 
Guilmant, 371 

Gulbransen-Dickinson Co., 334 
GUnther, J., 263 
Gtinther & Sohne, 230 

Hackley, C. H., 358 

Haddorff Company, 362 

Hale, Joseph P., 179-181, 200 

Haines Brothers, 295, 296, 335 

Haines, Francis, 294, 295 

Haines, Napoleon J., 294-296 

Hallet & Davis Piano Co., 286 

Hals, Brodrene, 263 

Hamilton Organ Co., 346 

Hamlin, Emmons, 315 

Handel, 243, 385 

Hannemann, Robert, 424 

Hansing, Siegfried, 91, 106-108, 426 

Hardman, Hugh, 290 

Hardman, John, 290 

Hardman, Peck & Co., 290 

Harger, C. B., 418 

Harvard Piano Co., 338 

Hawkins, John Isaac, 53, 69 

Haydn, 243, 385 

Haywood, Samuel, 158, 190 

Hazelton Brothers, 288 

Hazelton, F. & H., 288 

Hazelton, Halsey, 289 

Hazelton, Henry, 286, 288 

Hazelton, John, 288 

Hazelton, Samuel, 289 

Hazelton, Talbot & Lyon, 288 

Healy, Mark, 354 

Healy, Patrick Joseph, 350-353 

Healy, Paul, 354 

Hebenstreit, 42 

Heintzmann, Theodore A., 313, 314 

Digitized by 




Hoitzmann. Otto. 222 

Helfforioh, 232 

Helmholtz, 304, 30o, 425. 426 

llerrburger. Josof. »1, 9i, 261, 262 

Herz, Henry, 85, 89. 171, 257-259, 392, 393 

Hover, Wifhelm, 188, 429 

Hevl, (J., 2;J1 

Hildobrand, 84 

Hiller. 257 

Hipkiiis, A. J^ 53, 91, 425 

Hobart, A. J., 154 

Hoffmann, Kiehnrd. 275 

Hofmnnn. Josef, ,391, 392, 399, 400 

HollenU'rg, F. B. T.. insert 410 

Hopkinson, James, 247 

Hojykinson, John, 247 

Hopkinson, J. & J., 173, 247 * 

Hornnn^ & Moller, 2(»3 

Houghton, W\ D.. 125 

Hoxa, 01 . 70 

Hume & Co., 338 

Hummel, 257 

Hupfeld, Ludwig, 155, 157-159 

Ibach, Carl Rudolf, 223 

Ibach, Johannes Adolf, 108, 222 

Ib:ieh, Rudolf. 224. 225 

Ibach Sohn, Rudolf, 189. Insert 190, 224 

Ibach, Walter. 225, 22(5 

I mile r, Emil, 227 

Irmler, .Johann Christian Gottlieb, 1G9, 

225. 226 
Irmler, ()»\vald, 226, 227 
Irmler, Otto, 227 
Isermann, C. W., 238 
Isermann, J. C. L., 237, 238 
Isermann, Ludolf, 123, 126, 237, 239 
Ivers & Pond Co., 338 
Izabel, Louis, 202 

Jacob Brothers, 321, 325 

Jac-ob, C. Albert, ,321, 322 

Jacob, Charles. 321 

Jacob, John F., 321 

Jacquard, 133 

James, A. C, 280 

James & Holmstrom, 286, 321 

Janko, Paul von. 78-83 

Japanese Music il Instrument Mfg. Co., 266 

Jardine. John, 62 

Jewett Piano Co., 338 

Johnston. R. A., 346 

Joseffv, Rafael, 158, 274, 285, 309, 391, 

Kaim & Gilnther, 230 
Kaim & Sohn, 230 
Kalkbrenner, 256, 257, 392 
Kaps, Ernst, 64 
Keeley, 158, 162, 334 
Keller, 90, 127 

Kelly, George B., 136, 139, 160, 331, 332 - 
Ketten, Henry, 274 

Kimball, C. X., «6, 343 
Kimball, (). A., 293 
Kimball, WiUiam Wallace, 339-343 
King, Artiiur P.. 362 
King. Julie RiT<&, 356 
Kirkmau, 77, 172 
Klugh. P&nl B^ 153, 155 
Knabe, Krnest, 283-286 
Knabe. William, 282 
KnaUs WilUaai, Jr., 283. 265 
KnalN* & Co., William. 175, 183, 190, In- 
sert 190, 283-285, 535 
Knabe & Gaehle, 283 
Knake, Gebrfider, 281 
Kohler. Charles, 334 
Kohler & Campbell, 334, 335 
Kraft, Theodor** J., 338 
Krakauer Brothers, ,327 
Krakauer, Daniel, 327 
Krakauer, David, 326 
Krakauer, Julius, 327 
Krakauer, Simon. 326, 327 
Kranich & Bach. 336 
Krause, Dr.. 78 
Krehbiel. Henrv Edward, 427 
Krell, Albert. 357, 358 
Krell, Alexander, 357, 358 
Krell Auto Grand Piano Co., 157 
Kn'll-French Piano Co.. .358 
Krell, Jr., Albert. 357, 358 
Krell Piano Co.. 358 
Kreter, Rudolf, 90, 100 
Kriegel stein, Charles, 259, 261 
Kriegelstein, Georges, 261 
Kriegelstein, Jean Georges. 260, 261 
Kriegelstein & Co., 260 
Kunz, 58 

Kurtzmann, Christian, 292 
Kuster, Charles A., 130, 140 
Kuster, Henry, 136 

LafTert, Oscar, 428 

Langer & Co., F., 90, 95, 127, 239 

Lauter. 336 

Lawrence, R. W., 333 

Lawson, Charles B.. 326 

I^e, Frank A., 337-339, Insert 410 

Lester Piano Co., 336 

T^xow, 127 

Lighte & Xewton, 314 

Lindeman, Henry, 280 

Lindeman, Samuel G., 280 

Lindeman, William. 279, 280 

Lindner, I. P., 231 

Lipp & Sohn, Richard, 231 

Liszt, Franz, 194, 225, 305, 389, 397 

Loud Brothers, 62 

Loud, Thomas, 53, 84 

Ludwig & Co., 336 

Lufkins, W\ W., 342, 343 

Lydecker, Peter De W'itt, 381 

Lyon, George W\, 353 

Digitized by 




Lyon, Gustave, 257, 406 
Lvon ^ Healy, 350-354 

MacKay, John, 174, 270, 271 

Malmsju, I. G., 263 

Mattd, Carl, 231 

Mnriiis, 41, 42 

Marshall, Jame« & Traver, 287 

Marshall, Sir Herbert, 409 

Marshal! & Mittaiier, 320 

IMarshall & Wendell, 287, 335 

Martin, Jane, 427 

Mason, Henry, 315 

Mason, John W., 326 

Mason, Lmvell, 315 

Mason & Hamlin, 76, 110, 181, 315, 316 

Mason, J. R., 370-372 

IMathews. Mason J., 327 

^klathnshek, Frederick, 84, 85, 100, 108, 

100, 123, 321-325 
Mathushek Piano Co.. 323 
Mathiushek & Son, 325 
Mathushek & Sons Piano Co., 321 
^latzka, George, 274 
:MePhail. A. M.. 278, 270 
MePhail Co., A. M., 279 
MeTaramanv, John, 134-137 
M«hliii, H. Paul, Insert 410 
I^lehlin & Sons, 330 
IMendelssohn, Felix. 191, 228 
Menter, Sophie, 228, 318, 399 
Merckel. 123 
:Merrill Piano Co., 338 
Methfessol, Albert, 300 
Mover & Co., 174, 231 
IMiiler, Henn' F., 336 
Miller, James C, Insert 410 
:^Iiner, Jr., Henry F., 337. Insert 410 
^liller, Martin, 124, 125 
Miller & Sons Piano Co., Henrv F., 194, 

336, 337 
:Mills, S. B., 309 
Mola, 167, 216 
^FoUenhauer, C, 274 
^fonnington & Weston, 248 
Monroe Organ Reed Company, 328 
Montana. 202 
Moore, William, 203 
Morgenstem & Kotrade, 127 
Morse, Justinian. 132, 133 
Moscheles. 169, 257 
Moser, 108 
Mott, Henry A., 426 
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 32, 59, 87» 

218, 243, 385-387 
Musin, Ovid, 356 

Nagel, G. L., 231 

Kaish, 121 

Keitzel, Dr., 338 * ^ 

Nelson Co., The H. P., 362 

Neuhaus, 78 

Newman Brothers. 362 

Nickel, Adam, 380, 381 

Nickel, Jr., Henry, 381 

Nickerson, William E., 417, 418 

Niemann, Dr. Walter, 285, 424, 426 

Nishikawa & Son, 266 

Norton, Edward Quincy, 425 

Nunns, William, 289 

Nunns & Clark, 174 

Nunns & Company, William, 308 

Nunns & Fischer, 289 

Oor, J., 263 
Orchestrelle Co., 332 
Ortiz & Cusso, 171 
Osborn, John, 50, 270, 286 

Packard, Isaac T., 372 

Packard Co., 373, 374 

Paderewski, I. J., 392, 399 

Pain, R. W., 136, 137, 331 

Paine, J. H., 275, 276 

Pape, Henri, 84, 93, 98, 108, 121, 133, 191, 

259, 260 
Parker, William D., 137, 138, 141, 142 
Parsons, Charles H., Insert 410 
Patzsohke, C. W., 240 
Patzschke, F. W., 240, 241 
Patzschke, Rudolf, 241 
Paul, Dr. Oscar, 424 
Payson, Edward S., 293, Insert 410 
Pease Piano Co., 336 
Peck, Leoi)old, 290 
Perkins, Edward R., 330 
Perzina, Paul, 79-83 
Pfeiffer, A. J., 231 
Pfeiffer, Carl J., 191-194, 231 
Pfister, H., 231 
Pfriemer, Charles, 382 
Pianola Company, 332 
Pianola Company Proprietary, Ltd., The, 

Plaidy, 169 

Plevel, Camille, 256. 257 
Pleyel, Ignace, 54, 93, 254, 257, 392 
Plevel, Lvon & Co., 124, 171, 190, Insert 

" 190, 191, 257 
Plevel, Madame, 257 
Pleyel, Wolff & Co., 125 
Poehlmann, Moritz, 124, 125, 237, 242 
Poehlmann, Richard, 242 
Poehlmann & Son, 248 
Pond, Handel, Insert 410 
Poole Piano Co., 338 
Post, Charles N., 352-354 
Powers, Patrick H., 293, 204 
Price & Teeple, 362 
Pugno, 348 

Putnan^, Charles R., Insert 410 
Pythagoras, 27 

Quigg, J. Travis, 417 

Digitized by 




RaehalH, Adolf Ferdinand, 233 

KachalH. Kdward Ferdinand, 232-234 

Rachais, Mathias Ferdinand, 232, 233 

Haven. 277 

Reed. P., 287 

Reinecke, 169 

Reisenauer, 338 

Remenyi, Ed., 274 

Rijken & de I^nge, 203 

Rimlmult, Dr. Ed. F., 34, 423, 424 

Ritnidller, Andreas Georg, 168. 226 

Ritter. 231 

Rohlling, Oebrtlder. 231 

Rollason & Son, 124 

Ronisch, Carl. 236, 237 

Roosevelt. Frank. 371 

Roseler, 167, 216 

Rose. Frederick, 245 

Rose, (ieorpe 1)., 245, 409 

Rose, (ieorge Thomas, 245 

Rosen krantz, Ernst, 168 

Rosenkrantz, Ernst Philip. 226 

Ro.s<»nkrantz, Friedrieh Wilhelra, 226 

Rosenthal, Moriz, 158, 285, 392, 393, .398 

Rossi. 33 

Roth, A. P., 379 

Roth & Engelhardt, 379 

Rubinstein. Anton, 175, 305, 309, 390, 398 

Ruckers, Hans, 166, 188, Insert 190 

Rummel, Franz, 275 

Saekmeister, 84 

Saint-Saens, 257, 285 

Saner, 225 

Scarlatti, 37, 276 

Schaaf, Adam, 362 

Schaeffer Piano Mfg. Co., 362 

Scharwenka, Xaver, 275 

Scheel, Carl, 233 

Sehiedmaver, Adolf, 228, 229 

Schiedmayer, Adolf, Jr., 228, 407-409 

Sehiedmaver, Balthasar, 168, 228 

Sehiedmaver, Hermann, 228, 230 

Schiedmayer, Johann David, 168, 227, 228 

Schiedmayer, Johann I^renz, 228, 229 

Schiedmayer, J. & P., 229 

Schiedmayer, Julius, 229-231 

Schiedmayer, T^renz, 168 

Schiedmayer, Max, 230 

Schiedmayer, Paul, 229, 232 

Schiedmayer & Sohne, 228 

Schiller Piano Co., 362 

Schmidt, David H., 381 

Schmidt, Franz, 407 

Schmidt, Johann, 53 

Schmidt, John Frederick, 381 

Schneider's Neffe, Josef, 222 

Schomacker, Henry C, 282, 336 

Schomacker, John Henry, 214, 280, 281 

Schomacker Piano Co., 281 

Schone, Louis P., 191 

Schroder, Carl, 265 

Schroder, Carl Xicolai, 263-265 

Schnkler, Johann Friedrieh, 262, 264 

St-hrikler, John, 265 

Schrikler, Karl Michael, 264 

Schrikier, Oskar, 265 

Sehroter, Christoph, 42, 43, 45, 86, 88, 165 

Schulz Co., M., 360 

Sehulz, Mathias, 359, 360 

Schulz, Otto, 360 

Schumacher, Johann Heinrieh, 214, 280 

Schumann Piano Co., 362 

Schumann, Robert, 191, 194 

Schwander, Jean, 91, 95, 127, 260-262 

Schwa rz, M., 274 

Sehweighofer S'ihne. I. M., 222 

Seavems. George W., 96, 127 

Seidl, Anton, 275, 309 

JM»mbrich, 285 

Seuffert, 221 

S<»vlTarth, Hermann, 428 

SeVtre, 133 

Shaw, F. S., 345 

Shoninger, Bernhard. 316 

Shoninger, S. B., 317 

Shudi. Burkat, 188, 214, 243, 244 

Sievers, G. F., 167, 216, 424 

Silbermann, Andreas, 217 

Silbermann, Gottfried, 44, 45, 58, 86, 107,. 

217, 386 
Silbermann, Johann Daniel. 217 
Silbermann, Johann Friedrieh, 217 
Simplex Piano Player Co., 334 
Simpson. John Boulton, 366 
Smith, Barnes & Strohber Co., 362 
Smith, Chandler W., Insert 410 
Smith, Freeborn G., 314, 315 
Smith & Houghton, 124 
Smith & Sons, 125 
Sohmer, Hugo, 320 
Sohmer & Co., 320 
Southwell, William, 54 
Spiliane, Daniel, 425 
Spinnetti. Giovanni, 32, 83. 216 
Squire & Son, B., 248 
Standard Pneumatic Action Co., 334 
Starck Co., P. A., 362 
Starr, Benjamin, 348, 349 
Starr, James S., 348, 349 
Starr Piano Co., 349 
Steck, George, 175, 182, 233, 318, 319 
Steck & Co., George, 332 
Steger, John V., 361, 362 
Stein, Friedrieh, 218 
Stein, Johann Andreas, 47, 48, 58, 59, 84,. 

87, 168, 218, 387 
Stein-Streicher, Nannette, 59, 168, 218, 219^ 

388, 400 
Steinert, Morris, 188, Insert 426, 427, 429, 

Steinert & Sons, M., 427 
Steinway, Albert, 311. 312 
Steinway, Charles, 301-304, 306, 313 

Digitized by 




Steinway, Charles H., 312 

Steinway, C. F. Theodore, 301, 303-306, 

308, 312, 313 
Steinway, Frederick T., 312 
Steinway, Henry, 300 
Steinway, Henry Engelhardt, 214, 301, 302, 

308, 313, 398 
Steinway, Henry, Jr., 301, 304, 307, 313 
Steinway, Theodore Cassebeer, 312 
Steinway, Theodore F., 312 
Steinwav, William, 174, 179, 286, 306-313 
Steinway & Sons, 51, 62, 63, 71-73, 85, 89, 

102-105, 174, 189, Insert 190, 199, 301- 

Steinweg, Henry Engelhardt, 214, 221, 232, 

299, 300 
Sterling, Charles A., 370, 371 
Sterling Co., Ihe, 370 
Stewart, James, 270 
Stewart & Chickering, 270 
Stieff, Charles M., 291, 292 
Stieff, Frederick P., 290, 291 
Still Brothers, 58 
Stcicker, 85 

Stodart, Robert, 58, 59, 69, 277 
Stor)-, Edward H., 376, 377 
Story, Hampton L., 375, 376, 378 
Story & Camp, 376 
Storv & Clark, 376, 378 
Story & Clark Orgin Co., 376, 378 
Story & Powers, 375 
Straiibe Piano Co., 362 
Streicher, Emil, 219 
Streicher, Johann Baptist, 86, 87, 168, 218, 

Streicher, Johann Andreas. 64, 218 
Streicher & Sohn, J. B., 219 
Streicher & Sohn. Nannette, 218 
Strich & Zeidler, 336 
Strohmenger & Son, 248 
Stultz & Bauer, 336 
Stu\'^'e8ant Piano Co., 332 
Syverson, Ole, 381 

Teohnola Piano Co., 332 
Thibouville-Lamy, 405 
Thomas, Theodore. 175, 309 
Thorns. William :M., 416 
Thtirmer, Ferdinand, 232 
Trasunti, Alessandro, 188, Insert 190 
Trayser, 348, 349 
Tremaine, Charles M., 277 
Tremaine, Harrj^ B., 328-333 
Tremaine. William B., 327, 328, 333 
Tsehudi, Burckhardt, 173, 214, 243 
Tyndall, John, 305, 425 

Universal Music Co., 332 

Valley Gem Piano Co., 340 
Vanderstucken, Frank, 274 
Van Hyfte, B., 263 

Van Yorx, 160 

Vaucanson, 133 

Vits, Emile, 263 

Vocal ian Organ Company, 332 

Vogel & Sohn, I. G., 231 

Vose, James Whiting, 293-295 

Vose, Willard A., 294 

Vose & Sons, 294 

Vose & Sons Piano Co., 294 

Votev, Edwin S., 149, 150, 152, 330, 331, 

371, 372 
Votey Org in Company, 332 

Wachtl & Bleyer, 69 

Wagener, Charles H., 376 

W'agner, Richard, 224, 305, 318 

Washburn & Moen, 124, 125 

W-atson. Henry C, 415, 416, 420 

W-eber, Albert, 65, 175, 179, 182, 286, 296- 

Weber Piano Co., 190, Insert 190, 299, 326- 

331 332 
Webster & Horsfall, 123, 124 
Weickert, August Moritz, 237, 239, 240 
Weickert, Carl Moritz, 121, 241 
W'eickert, Fritz, 241 
Weickert, I. D., 239, 241 
Weickert, Max, 241 
Weickert, Otto, 241 
W^eidig, C, 236 
Weil, Milton, 417 
Welcker von Gontershausen, 423 
Welin, Peter, 155, 157 
W^ellington Piano Case Co., 321 
Wells, Charles Avery, 417 
Wenzel, 169 

Werlein, Philip, Insert 410 
W^essell, Arthur, 381 
Wessell, Fernando, 381 
Wessell, Nickel & Gross, 90, 96, 379 
Wessell, Otto, 379-381 
W'estern Cottage Organ Co., 343 
Wheelock Piano Co., 332 
Wheelock, William E., 325, 326, 331, 410 
Wheelock & Co., William E., 325 
W'hite and Parker, 143-14S, 152 
White, Edward IL, 368, 369 
W'hite, Frank C, 368, 370 
White, Henry Kirk, 307, 368, 370 
White, Howard, 368-370 
W^hite, James II.. 36S-370 
White, William B., 425 
Whitehead Brothers, 121 
Whitnev, Calvin, 374, 375 
Whitney, C. J., 371 
Whitnev Organ Co., 371 
Whitnev, W. C, 375 
Wilcox,' H. C, 368 
Wilcox & White Organ Co., 138, 144, 147, 

150, 334, 368 
Wilhelmi, 274 
Wilke, 99 

Digitized by 




Wing, Frank L., 336 
Wing, Luinan B., 336 
Wing, R. Delano, 336 
Wing & Son, 336 
Winter & Co., 336 
Wissner, 336 

Witton, Witton & Co., 248 
Wolff, Auguste, 257 
Wolfinger, F. R., 343 
WoMinger Organ Co., 343 
Woodford, I. B.. 2S2 
Wornum, Robert, 54, 02, 93 
Wulsin, Clarence, 346 
Wulsin, Lucien, 345-348 
Wurlitzer Co., Rudolph, 355 

Wiirlitzer, Fam^y, 3^ 
Wurlitzer^ Howard, 3o4 
Wurlitzer Mfg. Co., Rudolph, 355 
Wurlitzer, Rudolph^ 354 
Wurlitzer, Rudolph H., 355 

Yamaha, Torakusu, 265, 266 
Young, F. L., 158, 161 

Zarlino, GiuAeppt, 77 

Zeitter & Winkelmann, 932 

Ziegler, Doretta Stainway-, ai2 

Ziegler, Henry, 312 

Zurape, Johannes, 46^48, 87, 168, 172 

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